The Davis Cup quarterfinals are set to begin across the globe tomorrow. Leading the way is World No. 1 Novak Djokovic who anchors his Serbian tie in a quarterfinal collision in Boise, Idaho.
“I didn’t know much until I informed myself through Google,” Djokovic said of Boise. “I have seen that there is an altitude of 800m and that goes in the favor of the American team – that’s why they chose that – because of the big serves of John Isner and Sam Querrey.
“United States are the most successful team in Davis Cup, so it’s not going to be easy,” he said. “I’m looking forward to it, I’m looking forward to go and play with my team, I always love these seven to 10 days spending with friends just representing Serbia – it’s really fantastic.”
Djokovic will be joined by Viktor Troicki and Nenad Zimonjic.
Also, a very deep French team makes the long journey to face Argentina on their red clay. France will be without Richard Gasquet who gets replaced by Gilles Simon. Argentina is without Juan Martin Del Potro but still has veteran David Nalbandian who’s looking forward to playing the French on a slower surface at home.
“They are very different,” Nalbandian said comparing the 2012 tie with France his team lost 5-0 in Lyon. “That tie was on a fast surface. We believe in our team’s ability to fight throughout the three days and anything can happen.”
Defending champions, the Czech Republic, who will be without their star Tomas Berdych due to a shoulder and Radek Stepanek is just returning from injury, visit Kazakhstan while Canada bids for a first ever Davis Cup semifinal as they welcome Italy in Vancouver.
CANADA v ITALY – Thunderbird Sports Centre, Vancouver, CAN – hard (indoors)
Head-to-head: First meeting
* CANADA won their first ever World Group tie after defeating five-time champions Spain 3-2 in the first round in Vancouver. It was Spain’s first opening round defeat in Davis Cup since 2006.
* Canada are playing just their third World Group tie since 2004.
* Last year, Canada lost 4-1 to France in the first round. They maintained their World Group status after defeating South Africa 4-1 in the Play-offs.
* ITALY are bidding to reach the semifinals for the first time since 1998. That year they defeated Zimbabwe 5-0 in the quarterfinals en route to finishing runner-up to Sweden.
* Italy are playing a Davis Cup quarterfinal for the first time since 1998 after winning their first round tie against Croatia 3-2. Fabio Fognini clinched the deciding fifth rubber with a four-set win against Ivan Dodig.
* Italy are appearing in a World Group tie for just the third time since 2000.
* Last year, Italy lost in the first round to eventual champions Czech Republic 4-1.
R1: Vasek Pospisil (CAN) v Andreas Seppi (ITA)
R2: Milos Raonic (CAN) v Fabio Fognini (ITA)
R3: Daniel Nestor/Vasek Pospisil (CAN) v Daniele Bracciali/Paolo Lorenzi (ITA)
R4: Milos Raonic (CAN) v Andreas Seppi (ITA)
R5: Vasek Pospisil (CAN) v Fabio Fognini (ITA)
USA v SERBIA – Taco Bell Arena, Boise, USA (hard–indoors)
Head-to-head: Serbia lead 1-0
Serbia and USA’s only previous meeting took place in the 2010 World Group First Round in Belgrade. Novak Djokovic defeated John Isner in five sets to win the decisive fourth rubber en route to Serbia’s first Davis Cup title.
* USA are playing in their 280th tie – the most for any nation – in their 99th year of Davis Cup competition.
* USA jointly hold the record for most World Group appearances (32) with Czech Republic. Both nations have played in the World Group every year but one since its inception in 1981. USA was absent from the World Group in 1988 and has the longest unbroken streak of World Group appearances (25).
* USA defeated Brazil 3-2 in a home first round tie in Jacksonville this year. Sam Querrey won the decisive fifth rubber after Brazil had cancelled out USA’s 2-0 lead.
* SERBIA are bidding to avoid defeat in the quarterfinals for the 2nd consecutive year.
* Serbia are appearing in the quarterfinals for the 4th consecutive year. They are bidding to reach the semifinals for the 3rd time in the last 4 years
* Serbia defeated Belgium 3-2 in the first round in Charleroi after pulling up an unassailable 3-0 lead.
* Last year, Serbia lost to eventual champions Czech Republic 4-1 in the quarterfinals in Prague.
R1: John Isner (USA) v Novak Djokovic (SRB)
R2: Sam Querrey (USA) v Viktor Troicki (SRB)
R3: Bob Bryan/Mike Bryan (USA) v Ilija Bozoljac/Nenad Zimonjic (SRB)
R4: Sam Querrey (USA) v Novak Djokovic (SRB)
R5: John Isner (USA) v Viktor Troicki (SRB)
FRANCE v ARGENTINA – Parque Roca, Buenos Aires, ARG (clay–outdoors)
Head-to-head: France lead 5-0
France head into this Davis Cup by BNP Paribas quarterfinal with a perfect record against Argentina, but this is just the second meeting between the two sides since the World Group was introduced in 1981. France emphatically won their last meeting on hard court in Lyon, winning their 2010 World Group semifinal 5-0. Three of the four Argentines who were nominated for this tie, Juan Monaco, David Nalbandian and Horacio Zeballos, played in that defeat, while just one Frenchman who played in that tie, Michael Llodra, contests this tie. This will be the fifth meeting between the two nations on clay.
* FRANCE are through to the quarterfinals for a 4th consecutive year. Since 2001, France have only failed to reach the quarterfinals once, losing to Czech Republic in the first round in 2009. This is their 15th consecutive World Group appearance.
* France defeated Israel 5-0 in a home first round tie in Rouen to maintain their perfect record against the Israelis.
* Last year, France defeated Canada 4-1 in the first round in Vancouver before losing to USA 3-2 in the quarterfinals in Roquebrune.
* France have been crowned Davis Cup champion 9 times and are joint-third (with Great Britain) on the list of all-time champions, behind USA and Australia. They have also reached the final a further 6 times. Their last title win came in 2001 when they defeated Australia 3-2 on grass in Melbourne.
* ARGENTINA are through to the quarterfinals for the 12th consecutive year after defeating Germany 5-0 in the opening round. Since gaining promotion back to the World Group in 2002, the Argentines have reached the quarterfinals or better every year.
* Last year, Argentina reached the semifinals where they lost to Czech Republic 3-2 in Buenos Aires.
* Argentina are a 4-time runner-up in Davis Cup: in 1981 (l. USA), 2006 (l. Russia), 2008 (l. Spain) and 2011 (l. Spain). Argentina are the only nation to have lost 4 Davis Cup Finals without winning the title.
R1: Carlos Berlocq (ARG) v Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (FRA)
R2: Juan Monaco (ARG) v Gilles Simon (FRA)
R3: David Nalbandian/Horacio Zeballos (ARG) v Julien Benneteau/Michael Llodra (FRA)
R4: Juan Monaco (ARG) v Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (FRA)
R5: Carlos Berlocq (ARG) v Gilles Simon (FRA)
KAZAKHSTAN v CZECH REPUBLIC – National Tennis Centre, Astana, Kazakhstan (clay–indoors)
Head-to-head: Kazakhstan lead 1-0
Kazakhstan caused an upset in the only previous meeting between the two teams in Ostrava in 2011, winning three of the four singles rubbers to reach their first Davis Cup quarterfinal. Andrey Golubev was the hero of that encounter, defeating Jan Hajek in five sets before stunning Tomas Berdych in four sets in the first reverse singles rubber. Mikhail Kukushkin completed the triumph by defeating Hajek in the decisive rubber. This will be the first meeting between the two sides on clay. None of Kazakhstan’s four nominated players are ranked inside the top 150, while three of Czech Republic’s four singles nominees hold a Top 100 singles ranking.
* KAZAKHSTAN is through to the quarterfinals for the second time. They also reached the quarterfinals on their World Group debut in 2011.
* Kazakhstan are competing in the World Group for the 3rd consecutive year and bidding to reach the semifinals for the first time.
* Last year Kazakhstan lost in the first round to Spain 5-0. They defeated Uzbekistan 3-1 in the World Group play-offs in September.
* Defending champions CZECH REPUBLIC are making their 32nd World Group appearance, the most for any nation along with USA. They have competed in the World Group every year with the exception of 2006.
* Czech Republic are looking to extend their nation-record winning streak to 7 straight ties. By winning their first round tie, they established a new nation record by winning their 6th straight tie.
* Czech Republic won their first round tie against Switzerland 3-2 in Geneva. In the doubles rubber, Tomas Berdych and Lukas Rosol won the longest match in Davis Cup history in terms of duration after defeating Stanislas Wawrinka and Marco Chiudinelli in 7 hours 1 minute. Berdych then clinched the decisive fourth rubber with victory over Wawrinka.
R1: Mikhail Kukushkin (KAZ) v Jan Hajek (CZE)
R2: Andrey Golubev (KAZ) v Lukas Rosol (CZE)
R3: Evgeny Korolev/Yuriy Schukin (KAZ) v Ivo Minar/Radek Stepanek (CZE)
R4: Mikhail Kukushkin (KAZ) v Lukas Rosol (CZE)
R5: Andrey Golubev (KAZ) v Jan Hajek (CZE)
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