Davis Cup Semi-Final Play-Offs Preview

Paul Reece profile photo

Author: Paul Reece

Tags: Tennis

Published: 16:57 23/08/2014

Roland Garros will play host to the Davis Cup for the first time in 12 years when France square off against reigning champions the Czech Republic in the semi-finals of the Tennis World Cup.

The two countries will go head-to-head for a spot in the final where they are likely to face Roger Federer's Switzerland, who face surprise semi-finalists Italy in the other tie of the round.

And if you want to back the French, who's squad is likely to include the in form Jo Wilfried-Tsonga, or any of the four nations for that matter, head to William Hill now and you can they will match you're bet with a free bet (Max £50 stake).

It will be the first time since 2002 that the home of the French Open has hosted the Davis Cup and the French face a formidable task to reach the final for the first time since 2010.

They face a dominant Czech Republic side who top the World Rankings and who have now gone over three years without defeat in the Davis Cup.

The visitors have not lost in the competition since March 2011, winning the 2012 and 2013 titles with final victories over Spain and Serbia, respectively.

Led by former Wimbledon finalist Tomas Berdych and Radek Stepanek the Czech's battled past the Netherland's in the last-sixteen with a  3-2 victory.

Stepanek, Lukas Rosol and Jiri Veseley then guided the champion's into the final four with a resounding 5-0 victory over Japan.

France will undoubtedly prove to be their sternest test yet so far, however, with Wilfried-Tsonga and Gael Monfils both expected to feature for the home nation.

The duo, both ranked into the top 30 in the World, were instrumental in their sides' 5-0 demolition of Australia as they reached the last-eight.

And they both produced vital victories as the French fought back from 2-0 down against Germany in the quarter-final's and rallied to win 3-2.

Julien Benneteau and Michael Llodra also played their part with a comfortable 3-1 doubles victory over German pair Tobia Kamke and Andre Begemann.

Their head-to-head record, meanwhile, is 7-7 with the two nations last meeting back in 2009 with the Czech's winning 3-2.

In the other semi-final tie, Federer's much-fancied Switzerland face an Italy side who knocked Great Britain out of the competition in the last round.

Fabio Fognini defeated Andy Murray in straight sets and Andreas Seppi repeatedd that achievement with a comfortable 3-0 win James Ward.

Federer and Australia Open champion Stanislas Wawrinka, meanwhile, were instrumental in the Swiss' 3-2 victory over Kazakhstan in their last-eight encounter.

The side have surprisingly never lifted the Davis Cup, however, but they did eliminate former champions Serbia in the last-sixteen round.

Missing Novak Djokovic, the 2010 champions were no match for their Swiss counter-parts, who raced into a 3-0 lead before Serbia restored some pride by claiming the final two matches.

The Davis Cup is so far the one title which has eluded former World No.1 Federer, who has won more Grand Slam titles than any other tennis player in history.

And the 33-year-old will be confident that his side can dispatch Italy and reach their first Davis Cup final since 1992.

While the France vs Czech Republic will be a difficult tie to predict, the strength of the Switzerland side should see them ease into the final at the expense of the Italians.

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