Davis Cup Preview
Originally published on: 05/04/13 00:00
World No.1 Djokovic, one of only two top ten players competing this weekend, will be hoping to inspire his country to a third semi-final in four years when they face the 32-time champions, USA. The last, and only, time the two nations met was in the first round in 2010, which Serbia won en route to their maiden Davis Cup title.
In the absence of Janko Tipsarevic, world No.44 Viktor Troicki will join Djokovic in the singles line-up for Serbia, while USA captain Jim Courier has his top two players, Sam Querrey and John Isner, at his disposal as well as the world’s top doubles team Bob and Mike Bryan.
The winner of the tie in Idaho will take on either Canada or Italy, who meet for the first time ever at the Thunderbird Sports Centre in Vancouver. Canada, who knocked out world No.1 Spain in the previous round, are bidding to reach the World Group semi-final for the first time and they will once more be looking to talisman Milos Raonic, who is the highest ranked Canadian in ATP history, to lead the way against the Italians.
The 1976 champions Italy haven’t reached the semi-finals since 1998 but they will be buoyed by the form of top player Andreas Seppi, who recently became the first Italian to break the top 20 since Renzo Furlan in 1996.
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga will fly the flag for nine-time champions France as they face a tricky away trip to Buenos Aires to take on Argentina on clay. In the absence of world No.6 Juan Martin del Potro, the South American nation will be led by Juan Monaco and Horacio Zeballos, while Gilles Simon steps into the singles line-up for France, who will be without Richard Gasquet.
In the remaining quarter-final, defending champions Czech Republic travel to Astana without top player Tomas Berdych to take on Kazakhstan, who don’t have a player ranked inside the top 100. Kazakhstan upset the Czechs in the first round in 2011, the only previous meeting between the sides.
Davis Cup World Group Quarter-Finals:
Canada v Italy
USA v Serbia
Argentina v France
Kazakhstan v Czech Republic
Visit the Davis Cup website for live scores and updates throughout the weekend