Round Two of the Davis Cup gets underway Friday with quarterfinal play featuring a trio of Grand Slam champions.
Roger Federer and Australian Open winner Stanislas Wawrinka continue their march toward an elusive title as their Swiss team host Kazakhstan in Geneva.
“I think it can feel strange for everybody when you have Roger on the team and he is No. 2 in the tie,” said Wawrinka. “It’s just because I played so well at the beginning of the season winning my first Grand Slam – I know that’s my ranking and I deserve it because I’m playing really good and I’m happy with that.
“Roger is back playing good tennis, he is confident, and I’m sure he’ll play amazing tennis the rest of the year, so I’m sure it’s going to be tough to stay No. 1, but that’s not my goal. My goal is to play well and make some great results and to win the tie.”
Andy Murray has a stomach virus but is expected to play tomorrow on the red clay of Naples when his Team GB takes on Italy. A strong Italian team is led by veterans Fabio Fognini and Andreas Seppi who will be tough to beat on the home dirt.
“Andy’s got some sort of virus which has made him feel pretty poorly over the last 24 hours in particular,” said GB Captain Leon Smith. “It is important to give him a lot of rest and recovery. That’s why he didn’t attend the draw, to spend time with the doctor and stay at the hotel away from the rest of the group.
“Hopefully he can be fit and play a big part in the weekend, which I’m sure he will. He’s a fighter and obviously desperate to play so looks like he will be OK.”
Both Kei Nishikori and Tomas Berdych will be absent for the Japan-Czech Republic tie in Tokyo. And a depleted German squad will travel to face Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and France.
JAPAN v CZECH REPUBLIC
Venue: Ariake Coliseum, Tokyo, JPN (hard – indoor)
These two nations have met twice before, but not since 1935. Japan won their first meeting 3-2 in 1930 before Czechoslovakia gained revenge with a 4-1 victory in 1935. Both meetings took place in Prague.
Two-time defending champion Czech Republic continues its title defence with an away tie against Japan – the first meeting between the two nations since 1935. Czech Republic is looking to extend its nation-record winning streak to 11 straight ties and move into equal 3rd place behind USA (17) and Algeria (14) for the most consecutive Davis Cup tie wins. Japan, meanwhile, is bidding to make the most of its first World Group quarterfinal and earn a landmark spot in the semifinals.
Tatsuma Ito (JPN) v Radek Stepanek (CZE)
Taro Daniel (JPN) v Lukas Rosol (CZE)
Tatsuma Ito/Yasutaka Uchiyama (JPN) v Radek Stepanek/Jiri Vesely (CZE)
Tatsuma Ito (JPN) v Lukas Rosol (CZE)
Taro Daniel (JPN) v Radek Stepanek (CZE)
FRANCE v GERMANY
Venue: Palais des Sports Jean Weille, Nancy, FRA (hard – indoor)
Head-to-head: France leads 7-2
France and Germany meet for a 10th time. France has won the last 6 meetings between the two sides, including all 4 of their World Group meetings. Germany is looking to defeat France for the first time since 1938, and the first time ever on away soil.
Julien Benneteau (FRA) v Tobias Kamke (GER)
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (FRA) v Peter Gojowczyk (GER)
Michael Llodra/Gael Monfils (FRA) v Andre Begemann/Tobias Kamke (GER)
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (FRA) v Tobias Kamke (GER)
Julien Benneteau (FRA) v Peter Gojowczyk (GER)
ITALY v GREAT BRITAIN
Venue: Tennis Club Napoli, Naples, ITA (clay – outdoor)
Head-to-head: Italy leads 11-4
Great Britain is bidding to reach the World Group semifinals for the first time since 1981 when it takes on Italy in Naples, while the host nation is looking to reach the last 4 in the competition for the first time since finishing a runner-up to Sweden in 1998. Italy has won 10 of its last 11 meetings with Great Britain but this is the first clash between the two teams since 1984.
Fabio Fognini (ITA) v James Ward (GBR)
Andreas Seppi (ITA) v Andy Murray (GBR)
Simone Bolelli/Paolo Lorenzi (ITA) v Colin Fleming/Ross Hutchins (GBR)
Fabio Fognini (ITA) v Andy Murray (GBR)
Andreas Seppi (ITA) v James Ward (GBR)
SWITZERLAND v KAZAKHSTAN
Venue: Palexpo, Geneva, SUI (hard – indoor)
Head-to-head: Kazakhstan leads 1-0
Switzerland is looking to avenge its 5-0 defeat to Kazakhstan in their only previous meeting in 2010 as the two teams do battle in Geneva. Switzerland is bidding to progress to its first World Group semifinal since 2003, while Kazakhstan is hoping to surpass its best Davis Cup result by winning its first quarterfinal in 3 attempts since earning promotion to the World Group in 2011.
Stanislas Wawrinka (SUI) v Andrey Golubev (KAZ)
Roger Federer (SUI) v Mikhail Kukushkin (KAZ)
Roger Federer/Stanislas Wawrinka (SUI) v Evgeny Korolev/Aleksandr Nedovyesov (KAZ)
Stanislas Wawrinka (SUI) v Mikhail Kukushkin (KAZ)
Roger Federer (SUI) v Andrey Golubev (KAZ)
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