Davis Cup semifinals: Nadal plays Gasquet, Djokovic against Nalbandian

Corboda (Spain), Sep 15 (IANS) World No.2 Rafael Nadal will play the opening singles for Spain in the Davis Cup semifinal against France here Friday.

Nadal will play Richard Gasquet while Spain's second singles player David Ferrer takes on Gilles Simon in the second singles match.

Nadal, who has already practised twice in Cordoba, described himself as just fit enough" to play after returning from New York.

Spain are favourites to win the tie and will be looking to reach the final for the third time in four years.

France captain Guy Forget reserved his top-ranked player Jo-Wilfried Tsonga for Saturday's doubles with Michael Llodra against Spain's pair of Fernando Verdasco and Feliciano Lopez.

Nadal will play Simon while Ferrer takes on Gasquet in the reverse singles Sunday.

Spain, who have not lost at home since 1999, were without Nadal when they were beaten 0-5 by France last year in World Group quarterfinals.

In the other semifinal, US Open champion Novak Djokovic will play the opening singles match for Serbia against David Nalbandian of Argentina.

In the second singles, Janko Tipsarevic will face Juan Martin del Potro.

Djokovic, however, was not present for Thursday's draw at the Belgrade Arena and is expected to join the team later.

"We're still waiting for Novak to arrive from New York," Victor Troicki, who is in reserves, said. "We'll see how he feels. If he's not that great, I'll be definitely ready to play the first match against Nalbandian. Last year I found out three hours before the match that I would play, but this time I'm aware that he might not play if he's not right."

In Saturday's doubles, Janko Tipsarevic and Nenad Zimonjic will take on Juan Monaco and Juan Ignacio Chela.

Davis Cup semifinal draw:
(Spain vs France)
R1: Rafael Nadal (ESP) vs Richard Gasquet (FRA)
R2: David Ferrer (ESP) vs Gilles Simon (FRA)

R3: Feliciano Lopez / Fernando Verdasco (ESP) v Michael Llodra / Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (FRA)

R4: Rafael Nadal (ESP) vs Gilles Simon (FRA)
R5: David Ferrer (ESP) vs Richard Gasquet (FRA)

(Serbia vs Argentina)
R1: Novak Djokovic (SRB) vs David Nalbandian (ARG)
R2: Janko Tipsarevic (SRB) vs Juan Martin del Potro (ARG)

R3: Janko Tipsarevic / Nenad Zimonjic (SRB) vs Juan Ignacio Chela / Juan Monaco (ARG)

R4: Novak Djokovic (SRB) vs Juan Martin del Potro (ARG)
R5: Janko Tipsarevic (SRB) vs David Nalbandian (ARG)



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Title: Davis Cup semifinals: Nadal plays Gasquet, Djokovic against Nalbandian

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