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Argentina comforted by fortress venue for quarters

Posted 02-25-2013 at 04:42 PM by Philip Oliver
Argentina’s Davis Cup team must be delighted with the news their World Group quarter-final clash with France will be held in the formidable Parque Roca, Buenos Aires.

The 13,000 capacity arena has played host to Argentina’s last seven home ties and their only defeat on the clay surface came at the hands of Czech Republic in last year’s semi-final.

The team are aiming to reach the semis for the fourth year in a row and will take confidence from the fact the Parque Roca has turned into a real fortress for them over recent seasons.

Their dominance showed earlier this February as the team made tennis news headlines by dismantling Germany 5-0 to make the quarters. Carlos Berlocq and Juan Monaco cruised through their singles clashes while David Nalbandian successfully teamed up with Horacio Zeballos to win the doubles with ease.

All four team-mates have grown up on the clay and will be confident of taking apart France on their home surface, yet should be wary of their visitors’ ability to shock in the Davis Cup betting.

For France have real firepower in their arsenal after whitewashing Israel 5-0 in Rouen. Although on the hard indoor surface, the team will be hopeful they can match Argentina, with world number eight Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and 10 Richard Gasquet formidable singles threats.

Argentina will expect to take the doubles victory against Julien Benneteau and Michael Llodra, and so the result of this quarter-final rests on singles prowess.

Monaco v Tsonga will be a thrilling fixture, the Frenchman having won their three head-to-heads, all on clay. Meanwhile, Nalbandian has never lost a match to Gasquet in seven ties over the past decade, meaning Argentina may choose to swap Berlocq with the world number 78.

Buenos Aires promises to be the place to watch this April, with both teams desperate to make the semis. It’s almost too close to call, but Argentina’s home crowd may just sway the tie in the end.
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