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  • Finalist France faces Austria in round one

    3/3/11 8:05 PM | Kelli DeMario
    Finalist France faces Austria in round one Last year’s runner-up France is set to travel to Vienna, Austria over the weekend to face a formidable squad that includes World No. 10 Jurgen Melzer. Friday begins the eighth tie between the two nations.

    A depleted French Davis Cup team will be without the services of three key players for the first weekend of World Group play, as Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, Gael Monfils and Richard Gasquet are unavailable due to injury.

    Team captain Guy Forget, who led France to a 2010 runner-up finish against first-time champion Serbia, has selected Gilles Simon and Jeremy Chardy to compete in singles. Rounding out the squad are veterans Julien Benneteau and Michael Llodra, who is the highest-ranked Frenchman at World No. 27.

    Host nation Austria, captained by Gilbert Schaller, looks to World No. 10 Jurgen Melzer to secure key victories in both singles and competition this weekend. Joining Melzer are teammates Martin Fischer, Oliver Marach and 34-year-old Stefan Koubek, who came out of retirement to take part in the tie.

    Austria ensured its World Group status following a 3-2 win over Israel during the World Group play-offs in mid-September 2010. They have elected to play the tie with France on clay.

    France carries momentum into their eighth meeting with Austria, having won 7 straight ties since 1934. They are set to open on Friday with Chardy taking on Melzer, followed by Simon squaring off against Koubek.

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