The second of the two singles rubbers scheduled to take place on the opening day of the Davis Cup semi-finals clash between France and Czech Republic is the compelling contest between French No. 1 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and the recently promoted Lukas Rosol. This marks the second time these two competitors will meet on the professional tour with Tsonga leading the head to head with 1-0.
Tsonga defeated a gauntlet of opponents including world No. 1 Novak Djokovic, Andy Murray, Grigor Dimitrov and Roger Federer to win his first Masters 1000 final in over two years. Sadly, the Frenchman was unable to maintain that momentum in Cincinnati, as he appeared flat in his opening round match-up against Mikhail Youzhny and lost that encounter in disappointing fashion.
He would reach the fourth round of the US Open but would fall to a rejuvenated Andy Murray in straight sets. He will be looking to secure the second rubber for his team on home soil.
“Radek has had some good moments in Davis Cup in the past and in the Tour but now Lukas is coming hard and playing well in the Tour and I think he deserves his place in singles,” said Tsonga. “You know, it is something special playing at Roland Garros, it’s a special sentiment. I’ve had so many good memories in Roland Garros but not only as a player but also as a young kid and for me it’s going to be something very important to play well here because I’d like more good moments here.”
While Lukas Rosol came into the US Open with a significant amount of momentum following his title victory at Winston-Salem – a campaign that included wins over Ryan Harrison, John Isner, Yen-Hsun Lu and Jerzy Janowicz – he was unable to maintain that run and lost his opening match at the season’s final Grand Slam event to Croatia’s Borna Coric. As Radek Stepanek’s replacement in the singles rubbers, Rosol will be under pressure to perform for his country and pick up the upset win over the Frenchman on hostile territory.
This marks the second time these two competitors will meet on the professional tour with Tsonga leading the series 1-0 with a win over Rosol in Dubai back in 2012. The clay surface will certainly favour Tsonga, yet it is possible that the contest will be slightly more competitive that most would expect.
Prediction: Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in Four Sets