• Argentina heads to France for Davis Cup semi

    9/17/10 4:32 AM | Kelli DeMario
    Argentina heads to France for Davis Cup semi Veteran David Nalbandian and Juan Monaco are set to lead the Argentine Davis Cup squad as they travel to Lyon, France. Host nation France will feature Gael Monfils and Michael Llodra in singles competition.

    Argentina will attempt to reach its fourth final, as it faces off against home nation France this weekend. The visiting nation, which finished runner-up to Spain in 2008, has yet to capture a Davis Cup title. France is no stranger to Davis Cup glory, having won top honors on nine occasions. The French team will be making its first semifinal appearance since 2004. Their last Davis Cup title triumph came in 2001.

    Argentina and France have met four times prior to their semifinal-round clash this weekend, with all four victories going to the host nation. The two teams last battled in 1982, when legend Yannick Noah sealed a decisive fifth-rubber win for his country.

    The first singles rubber, to be contested on an indoor hard-court, will feature veteran Michael Llodra and Juan Monaco. The 26-year-old Argentine, continuing his comeback from a wrist injury, is looking for his first victory since May. The 30-year-old Frenchman is set to make his return to competition after a third-round retirement at the US Open.

    Nalbandian has enjoyed a return to form this summer, having put together a title-winning run in Washington. The 28-year-old reached the third round of the US Open, before falling to eventual quarter-finalist Fernando Verdasco in four sets.

    Monfils, who battled into the New York quarterfinal, is slated to face Nalbandian in a critical second singles rubber.

    Doubles competition will showcase the talents of Horacio Zeballos and partner Eduardo Schwank for Argentina. The duo is coming off a successful semifinal finish at the US Open. France has elected Llodra and fellow veteran Arnaud Clement to play doubles.

    In the wake of live fourth and fifth singles rubbers, Monfils and Monaco will clash first, followed by Llodra and Nalbandian.

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