Rosol, Tsonga to open Czechs v France Davis Cup tie

Jo-Wilfred Tsonga will play against Lukas Rosol at Werk Arena in Trinec on Friday in the opening encounter of the Davis Cup World Group quarterfinal between Czech Republic and France.

According to Czech team captain, "Lukas can play without any stress as Tsonga will be the favourite."   -  M. Prabhu

Jo-Wilfred Tsonga will play against Lukas Rosol at Werk Arena in Trinec on Friday in the opening encounter of the Davis Cup World Group quarterfinal between Czech Republic and France.

In his Davis Cup debut, French young gun Lucas Pouille, the world number 21, will then face the Czech Republic's Jiri Vesely, ranked 50th, in the day's second rubber. "Lukas can play without any stress as Tsonga will be the favourite," Czech captain Jaroslav Navratil told reporters. "The second rubber will be important for us, I would like a 1-1 draw after day one."

French captain Yannick Noah said he expected a close tie. 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. France has lost world number 14 Richard Gasquet to an injury and 17th-ranked Gael Monfils, who is grappling with a mysterious virus.

Tomas Berdych, who is taking a break after Wimbledon and ahead of the Rio Olympics, will not play for the Czechs. 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 leads 8-7 in head to head encounters, the latest being its 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.

(With inputs from agencies)