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  • Massu looks to put Chile out in front

    7/9/10 6:33 AM | Ricky Dimon
    Massu looks to put Chile out in front Nicolas Massu for contest Chile's opening quarterfinal Davis Cup rubber against Ivo Minar on Friday. The second singles match will feature Paul Capdeville and Jan Hajek.


    Nicolas Massu vs. Ivo Minar

    With Fernando Gonzalez out due to knee problems, Massu is Chile's top player heading into a Davis Cup quarterfinal showdown against the Czech Republic. Massu, 30, is down at No. 101 in the world and he is just 4-7 at the ATP level this season. He has not won an ATP match since early April, but he remains a capable clay-court player and he will obviously have a huge advantage with a boisterous Chilean crowd in his corner.

    Awaiting Massu on Friday in Coquimbo is a first career meeting with Ivo Minar. The 26-year-old Czech is wallowing at No. 247 in the world in the aftermath of an eight-month doping ban that expired in March. Minar has not played an ATP match since his return to tennis, and this will be a tough setting in which to contest his first huge match in quite some time. Look for Massu to get the best of Minar in four sets.

    Paul Capdeville vs. Jan Hajek

    Like Massu for Chile, Hajek assumes the role of the Czech Republic's No. 1 player due to absences. Wimbledon runner-up Tomas Berdych is not playing Davis Cup this week and Radek Stepanek, who has been a stranger to the tour this season, is on the sidelines. Hajek registers at 94th in the world and he is a respectable 8-14 at the ATP level for his 2010 campaign.

    While Massu takes over as headline with Gonzalez missing, Capdeville is the one who is actually taking Gonzalez's singles spot. The 27-year-old Chilean is toiling at No. 186 in the world and he is a mere 1-1 at the ATP level this season. He has played four clay-court Challenger events in the last month and reached the quarters at two of them. Hajek is also solid on clay, but the crowd should carry Capdeville over the top in a tight five-setter.

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