The Davis Cup quarter finals kick off this weekend with Canada (Milos Raonic, Daniel Nestor, Vasek Pospisil) taking on Italy (Andreas Seppi, Fabio Fognini, Paolo Lorenzi, Daniele Bracciali) and Czech Republic (Lukas Rosol, Jan Hajek, Radek Stepanek, Ivo Minar) facing off against Kazakhstan (Mikhail Kukushkin, Andrey Golubev, Evgeny Korolev, Yuri Schukin) but two ties stand out more so as the USA face Serbia and France play Argentina.
USA vs Serbia
Taco Bell Arena, Boise
USA: John Isner, Sam Querrey, Mike Bryan, Bob Bryan
Serbia: Novak Djokovic, Viktor Troicki, Nenad Zimonjic, Ilija Bozoljac
1. Novak Djokovic vs John Isner (2-1 H2H)
2. Sam Querrey vs Viktor Troicki (2-2 H2H)
3. Bob Bryan/Mike Bryan vs Ilija Bozoljac/Nenad Zimonjic
4. Novak Djokovic vs Sam Querrey(5-1 H2H)
5. John Isner vs Viktor Troicki (1-3 H2H)
Despite Novak Djokovic being seen as the best hard court player in the world, the USA have decided to stick to their strengths by remaining on the surface. While not at the level of a number of South American tournaments, Boise is at altitude and that could make for an interesting situation with Djokovic commenting that it is the highest he has ever played a match at. Despite boasting the World No.1 there is definitely a chance that they could see defeat here. No.1 doubles duo Mike and Bob Bryan hold an excellent record in the competition and without a competent doubles partner for Zimonjic, the Serbians will struggle to pick up a point here. Bozoljac is slated to play with Zimonjic but the nature of Davis Cup could see Troicki switch in for his lesser ranked opponent. It would be no surprise to see the fifth rubber be live here but the USA will need an improvement from John Isner who has suffered in best of five matches over the past year. He suffered Davis Cup heartbreak last year, losing both matches in the semi final to Spain including a defeat in the fifth to Nicolas Almagro. Isner’s form has been poor this year, with defeats to the likes of Ryan Harrison and Edouard Roger Vassellin. Last time out, he lost to Thomaz Bellucci from 2-1 up as the Americans edged through to this stage. In matches that have gone to five sets, Isner has lost his last six.
France vs Argentina
Parque Roca, Buenos Aires, Argentina
France: Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, Gilles Simon, Julien Benneteau, Michael Llodra
Argentina: Juan Monaco, Horacio Zeballos, Carlos Berlocq, David Nalbandian
1. Carlos Berlocq vs Jo-Wilfried Tsonga
2. Gilles Simon vs Juan Monaco (3-3 H2H)
3. Julien Benneteau/Michael Llodra vs David Nalbandian/Horacio Zeballos
4. Jo-Wilfried Tsonga vs Juan Monaco (3-0 H2H)
5. Gilles Simon vs Carlos Berlocq (4-2 H2H)
Both teams have notable absentees with Juan Martin Del Potro not competing for the Argentinians while Richard Gasquet was forced to withdraw from the team through injury, being replaced by Gilles Simon. Berlocq produced one of the odd moments of the last round with his shirt ripping celebration after outlasting Philipp Kohlschreiber in the German was forced to retire deep into the fifth. It’s hard to see similar celebrations occurring here with Berlocq taking on an elite opponent in Tsonga while Simon holds the head to head advantage in their tie. However, a much improved Berlocq took both of his victories last year on the dirt which will give him hope he can pull of a shock victory. A terribly out of form Juan Monaco is yet to win at tour level this year, with both his victories coming in the last round here against the Germans. Defeats to the likes of Albert Ramos, Marinko Matosevic and Guillaume Rufin do very little to inspire or suggest a shock could be on the cards.