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Argentina-France All Square; Czechs In Charge

World Group Quarter-finals

Tsonga© Getty ImagesJo-Wilfried Tsonga gave France a 1-0 lead over Argentina.

Venue: Parque Roca, Buenos Aires, ARG (clay – outdoor)

It is all square in Buenos Aires between Argentina and France after Juan Monaco snuffed out an early lead for the visiting nation. World No. 8 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga had battled to a 4-6, 6-2, 6-3, 5-7, 6-2 victory over Carlos Berlocq in just under four hours in the first match to give France a 1-0 lead, but Monaco hit back for Argentina, beating Gilles Simon 7-6(2), 6-2, 6-4 in two and a half hours. 

The win marked a return to form for World No. 19 Monaco, who had lost four successive opening-round matches since winning both his singles rubbers to help Argentina through the Davis Cup first round against Germany in February.

Until losing to Czech Republic in the 2012 semi-finals, also at Parque Roca, four-time Davis Cup runner-up Argentina had not lost a home tie on clay since 1998. David Nalbandian and Horacio Zeballos will team up in Saturday’s doubles in an attempt to give the host nation a crucial doubles victory over Julien Benneteau and Michael Llodra.

Venue: National Tennis Centre, Astana, KAZ (clay – indoor)

Defending champion Czech Republic assumed a commanding 2-0 lead over Kazakhstan in Astana on Friday with victory in both the singles rubbers. World No. 94 Jan Hajek secured the first point for the visiting nation, beating Mikhail Kukushkin 6-3, 6-2, 6-4. The No. 63-ranked Lukas Rosol then followed with a 4-6, 6-4, 6-2 7-6(6) victory over Andrey Golubev.

Czech Republic defeated Spain in the 2012 Davis Cup final, adding to their title in 1980. Victory for Ivo Minar and Radek Stepanek in Saturday’s doubles rubber will give the Czechs a place in the semi-finals against either Argentine or France.

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