World Group action starts in


13 September 2011

Pre-tie analysis: Spain v France


Rafael Nadal & Jo-Wilfried Tsonga

Spain and France go head-to-head in the Davis Cup by BNP Paribas World Group semifinals, with a place in the final at stake. The tie is being held at the Plaza de Toros de los Califas in Cordoba (Spain) on 16-18 September.

Road to semifinals

Spain achieved a heroic 3-2 win over USA in Austin despite the absence of its No. 1 player Rafael Nadal. Feliciano Lopez won the opening match in an epic five-setter against Roddick and David Ferrer became the hero of the tie after securing the victory by winning his two singles rubbers.


Germany had only beat France twice in Davis Cup, with the last time dating back to 1938. This year´s quarterfinal did not change these statistics as France added another victory to increase their head-to-head advantage to 7-2. Gael Monfils and Richard Gasquet won the opening singles and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Michael Llodra secured the victory in the doubles rubber.

Team leaders

Rafael Nadal

The “King of Clay” will be playing on his favourite surface and will also have the unconditional support of the Spanish fans in the stands. Nadal´s form prior to the US Open raised some doubts but the world No. 2, despite his defeat to Novak Djokovic in the final, has managed to bring back his competitive instinct.

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga

The French No. 1 is back to his best having reached the semifinals at Wimbledon and the quarterfinals at Flushing Meadows. Clay is not his favourite environment but the absence of Gael Monfils makes him the natural leader of the team.


Albert Costa

The Catalan player took over the role of skipper in December 2008 and has since led the team to glory on one occasion (2009). As a player, Costa was a clay court specialist and had his biggest achievement came in 2002, when he won Roland Garros.

Guy Forget

Forget is a true legend of French tennis. During his career as player, he helped France win the Davis Cup in both 1991 and 1996. As captain, he has also led his country to victory in 2001.

Keep an eye on...

David Ferrer

Clay is not his favourite surface but the special motivation that Ferrer always has when playing for his country can make the difference. The world No. 5 was the hero in Austin and could now reach the status of myth in front of Cordoba´s crowd

Gilles Simon

The talented Frenchman is in good shape after having reached the fourth round of the US Open. The absence of Gael Monfils could give him a starring role.

Davis Cup pedigree


The Iberians reached their first Davis Cup win in 2000 but have lifted the trophy in four different occasions since then. This makes them the most successful Davis Cup team of the new millennium.


France is the third most successful Davis Cup team of all time. Their last victory came in 2001 in a very tight final against Australia in Melbourne. The French have reached the quarterfinals for a seventh consecutive time this year.


5 - 2


Spain and France have met on seven different occasions in Davis Cup, resulting in five victories for the Spaniards and two for the French.
The last clash took place last year when France whitewashed Spain 5-0 in Clermont-Ferrand in the World Group quarterfinals.


Clay (Outdoors)


The fact that Rafael Nadal is arguably the best clay court specialist in the history of tennis makes the choice of surface an advantage for the Spaniards. However, neither of the two other Spanish players that are likely to play singles, Ferrer or Verdasco, are really clay court specialists, making the advantage smaller than it could seem.

Home and away


The Spanish team haven’t lost a tie on home soil since 1999 when they went down to Guga Kuerten´s Brazil in the World Group first round.


The French team have lost three of the last five ties played outside France. These defeats include last year’s final against Serbia that took place in Belgrade.

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