Tsonga will open for France against Del Potro-less Argentina

Updated: April 4, 2013

Former Australian Open runner-up
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga will play in Friday’s opening singles rubber when France
faces host Argentina in a 2013 Davis Cup quarterfinal.

The best-of-five tie will be staged outdoors on red clay at Buenos Aires’
Parque Roca.

Tsonga will battle Argentina’s Carlos Berlocq on Day 1, while the second
opening singles rubber will pit the hosts’ Juan Monaco against Gilles Simon.

Saturday’s doubles will feature a French duo of Julien Benneteau and Michael
Llodra, while the hosts will counter with a tandem of former Wimbledon runner-
up David Nalbandian and Horacio Zeballos, who shocked the great Rafael Nadal
in a clay-court final in Chile in February.

Sunday’s reverse singles call for the eighth-ranked Tsonga to meet the world
No. 19 Monaco and the 13th-ranked Simon to tangle with the No. 71 Berlocq.

Team France is captained by rookie skipper Arnaud Clement, while the
Argentines are guided by another former ATP performer, Martin Jaite.

Argentina will compete without world No. 7 star and former U.S. Open champion
Juan Martin del Potro, while France will play this weekend without ninth-
ranked Richard Gasquet, who has a blister problem on his foot and was replaced
in the draw by Simon. Del Potro also made himself unavailable for Argentina’s
opening-round tie against Germany in February.

Nine-time champion France is a perfect 5-0 all-time versus Argentina in Davis
Cup play, dating back to 1952. The French prevailed 5-0 in their last meeting
in a World Group semifinal in Lyon in 2010. France is also 1-0 in Buenos
Aires, with that victory coming 31 years ago in the opening round.

France last won the Davis Cup in 2001, while Argentina is still seeking its’
first-ever Davis Cup title, having finished as a runner-up on four occasions,
including as recently as 2011.

The Argentina-France winner will meet the Czech Republic-Kazakhstan victor in
the semifinals in September.