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Djokovic, Tsonga In Davis Cup QFs Action

World Group Quarter-finals

Simon, Tsonga© AFP/Getty ImagesGilles Simon and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga lead France in its Davis Cup quarter-final versus Argentina in Buenos Aires.

Novak Djokovic and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, who are both in the Top 10 of the Emirates ATP Rankings, are in action this week in the Davis Cup by BNP Paribas World Group quarter-finals. previews the four ties to be played from 5-7 April.

The last time all four semi-finalists were European nations was in 2009 when Croatia, Czech Republic, Israel and Spain made up the semi-finals. The Davis Cup has been won by a European nation for the past five years – Spain in 2008-09 and 2011, Serbia in 2010 and Czech Republic in 2012.

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Thunderbird Sports Centre, Vancouver, Canada (hard – indoors)
Canada is attempting to advance to the semi-finals for the first time against Italy in Vancouver. The last time Italy appeared in the quarter-finals was in 1998 when it defeated Zimbabwe en route to the final (l. to Sweden). Milos Raonic, who has won his past five singles rubbers for Canada, admitted, “I've had great results on this court so we're looking forward to success against Italy and helping us continue this great Davis Cup run.” captain Martin Laurendeau said, “It’s going to be exciting to play a strong Italian team in Vancouver. They're going to be bringing a very strong team with them this year with [Andreas] Seppi in good form and Fabio [Fognini] who is capable of some good wins.” World No. 18 Andreas Seppi has a 12-11 singles record for Italy.


Taco Bell Arena, Boise, USA (hard – indoors)
Serbia beat United States en route its first Davis Cup crown in 2010. United States is bidding to reach the semi-finals for the fifth time in the past eight years, while Serbia attempts to book its spot for the third time in the past four years. John Isner said, “It’s going to be very exciting. [Playing Serbia] is going to be a huge challenge. The guy that anchors their team is the best player in the world so we’re certainly going to have our hands full but it’s going to be a lot of fun.” World No. 1 Djokovic, who admitted he looked up Boise on search engine Google, has a 20-7 record in singles rubbers for Serbia. “United States are the most successful team in Davis Cup, so it’s not going to be easy,” he said.

Parque Roca, Buenos Aires (clay – outdoors)
Argentina looks to break a five-tie losing streak versus France. This is just the second time the two nations have met in Argentina, with France winning 3-2 in 1982. Tsonga, who leads France against Carlos Berlocq in the opening singles rubber Friday, told reporters, “We are not favourites for the moment. It’s going to be a good match between two good teams, and I think there is no favourite in this one.” Richard Gasquet has been forced to withdraw due to a blister on his foot. Gilles Simon has stepped in and will play Juan Monaco in the second singles rubber.

National Tennis Centre, Astana, Kazakhstan (clay – indoors)
Defending champion Czech Republic, who is without Tomas Berdych, looks to win its seventh straight tie away to Kazakhstan in Astana and reach the semi-finals for the fourth time in the past five years. The host nation is bidding to reach the World Group semi-finals for the first time. Mikhail Kukushkin takes on Jan Hajek in the opening singles tie, while Andrey Golubev faces Lukas Rosol on Friday. Radek Stepanek, who has been sidelined since the Australian Open, is expected to compete in the doubles rubber. Czech captain Jaroslav Navratil said, “We are coming to Kazakhstan without our first player but Radek is back in the team and I hope we have enough of a strong team to beat Kazakhstan. I’ll be happy with 1-1 after tomorrow’s matches.”

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