Rosol, Tsonga to play Cup opener
French No 1 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga will take on the Czech Republic’s No 2 Lukas Rosol in the opening rubber of the Davis Cup World Group quarterfinal tie following yestarday’s draw.
The 10th-ranked Tsonga will face 78th-ranked Rosol on the hardcourt of the Werk Arena in the eastern Czech town of Trinec today.
French young gun Lucas Pouille, the world number 21, will then take on the Czech Republic’s Jiri Vesely, ranked 50th, in the day’s second rubber.
In Saturday’s doubles rubber, veteran Radek Stepanek and Adam Pavlasek are due to face fresh Wimbledon champions Nicolas Mahut and Pierre-Hugues Herbert on the hardcourt of the Werk Arena.
In Sunday’s reverse singles, Vesely will first face Tsonga and Rosol is due to play against Pouille.
The French have lost world number 14 Richard Gasquet to an injury and 17th-ranked Gael Monfils, who is grappling with a mysterious virus.
The Czechs miss their No 1, eighth-ranked Wimbledon semifinalist Tomas Berdych, who is taking a break after Wimbledon and ahead of the Rio Olympics.
Led by Berdych and Stepanek, the Czech Republic won the Davis Cup in 2012 and 2013.
The team beat Germany 3-2 in the first round this year while France, who last lifted the trophy in 2001, saw off Canada 5-0.
France lead 8-7 in head to head encounters, the latest being their 4-1 win in the semifinals in Paris in 2014, which put an end to the Czechs’ ten-tie winning streak.
The winner of the tie will face either the United States or Croatia in the semifinals.