1/31/13 6:22 PM | Kelli DeMario
Four-time Davis Cup runner-up Argentina is set for a first-round tie with three-time former champion Germany. Leading the charge for the home nation once again is David Nalbandian, who enters his 25th career tie this weekend.
Four-time Davis Cup finalist Argentina leads three-time winner Germany 6-2 in the series as competition begins this weekend. The two nations last met at the same stage in 2012, where the Argentine squad posted a 4-1 victory in Germany.
Team captain Martin Jaite has selected world No. 12 Juan Monaco, world No. 70 Carlos Berlocq, world No. 71 Horacio Zeballos and former world No. 3 David Nalbandian for first-round play.
Notably absent from the squad is world No. 7 Juan Martin Del Potro, who won the opening rubber during Argentina's 2012 semifinal defeat to the Czech Republic.
"We sent emails to all the players likely to be selected and asked them to respond before December 10. Del Potro didn’t answer. On December 20, he then sent me an SMS to tell me that he was not available," Jaite explained in an interview with La Nacion. "The relationship with Del Potro isn’t broken, the doors of the team are always open to him."
Germany, led by team captain Carsten Arriens, has nominated world No. 19 Philipp Kohlschreiber, world No. 28 Florian Mayer, world No. 93 Tobias Kamke and doubles specialist Christopher Kas.
The three-time former champions faced relegation in 2012 but were able to hold their World Group spot after defeating Australia 3-2.
The clay-court tie will commence on Friday with Berlocq taking on Kohlschreiber and Monaco closing the day against Mayer.
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