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http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport/hi/english/tennis/newsid_1789000/1789173.stm


Davis Cup holders France have announced their squad to face the Netherlands in Metz in the first round between 8-10 February.

Arnaud Clement is recalled in the quartet to begin the defence of the trophy France won by beating Australia in Melbourne last December.

The French Tennis Federation announced that Clement, Nicolas Escude, Sebastien Grosjean and Fabrice Santoro had been selected.

Veteran Cedric Pioline was named as reserve.

Dutch Davis Cup captain Tjerk Bogtstra has dropped Jan Siemerink in favour of Edwin Kempes.

Otherwise Bogtstra has left his squad unchanged from that which lost to France in the semi-finals last year.

Deciding factor

Paul Haarhuis, Sjeng Schalken and Raemon Sluiter are the other members of the squad.

It is expected Schalken and Sluiter will play the singles with Haarhuis/Schalken contesting the doubles.

The French have decided to play on a clay court, similar to those at Roland Garros.

World number two Marat Safin and 2000 Olympic champion Yevgeny Kafelnikov head Russia's Davis Cup squad to face Switzerland.

Russia's team captain Shamil Tarpishchev said that Mikhail Youzhny, Andrei Stoliarov and Denis Golovanov will complete the line-up.

Moscow's indoor Olympic stadium provides the venue for the first meeting between the countries.

"The slow clay court here may become the deciding factor in the match," Tarpishchev said.

"That's why Kafelnikov and Safin decided not to play at Milan to get used to the slow surface."

Not missed

Brazil's Gustavo Kuerten is to sit out his country's first round match against the Czech Republic as he recovers from a hip injury.

Kuerten first played Davis Cup in 1996 and had not missed a date in the competition for his country since.

Team captain Ricardo Acioly is set to announce the team later on Tuesday.

It is believed Flavio Saretta will replace French Open champion Kuerten, with Fernando Meligeni and Andre Sa the likeliest options for the singles.

The Brazilians play their tie in Ostrava on a fast synthetic Taraflex surface
 

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-an other article from the official site of davis cup

Jan 29, 2002

TEAM NOMINATIONS GET 2002 DAVIS CUP COMPETITION UNDERWAY

With ten days to go until the start of the 2002 Davis Cup by BNP Paribas, the nominations have been announced for the players who will do battle in the World Group first round ties.

France’s newest national sporting hero Nicolas Escude will lead an almost unchanged team as the nation begins its defence of the Davis Cup title on clay at home to the Netherlands. Joining him will be Sebastien Grosjean and Fabrice Santoro, both back on board after their country’s victory in Melbourne, and Arnaud Clement. Cedric Pioline has been left out, but the Davis Cup veteran will still travel to Metz with the team. Under competition rules which allow for changes up to one hour before next Thursday’s draw, he could still feature in the final line-up, as he did in last November’s Final.

Facing France, the Dutch will be represented by Paul Haarhuis, Sjeng Schalken, Raemon Sluiter and 25-year-old Edwin Kempes, who has yet to play Davis Cup. France will have drawn confidence from its recent doubles exploits at the Australian Open, where two French pairs fought out an extraordinary semifinal, Santoro and Michael Llodra eventually beating compatriots Clement and Julien Boutter before finishing runners-up.

Pete Sampras has been as good as his word and is part of the United States team that takes on the Slovak Republic in Oklahoma. Captain Patrick McEnroe has combined the old guard with the new generation, Sampras being joined by Andy Roddick, Todd Martin and James Blake against Dominik Hrbaty, Karol Kucera, Jan Kroslak and Karol Beck.

Riding high after his stunning victory at the Australian Open, Thomas Johansson will travel to Birmingham at the head of an in-from Swedish team that also features Jonas Bjorkman, Thomas Enqvist and Magnus Larsson. The Swedes will meet Great Britain’s Tim Henman, Greg Rusedski, Martin Lee and Jamie Delgado. The visitors have a psychological advantage over the Brits after their performance Down Under, Bjorkman having made short work of Tim Henman in their fourth round Australian Open clash.

In the absence of Lleyton Hewitt and Patrick Rafter, Aussie dreams of starting another journey to the Davis Cup Final lie with Andrew Ilie, Wayne Arthurs, Scott Draper and Todd Woodbridge. The 2001 finalists will face the formidable Argentinian team of Guillermo Canas, Gaston Gaudio, Juan Ignacio Chela and Arnold Lucas on the clay of Buenos Aires.

Yevgeny Kafelnikov will combine with Australian Open runner-up Marat Safin, the up-and-coming Mikhail Youzhny and Andrei Stoliarov in Russia’s clash with Switzerland. Kafelnikov has said that his career lacks only a Davis Cup title, and his country’s 2002 campaign gets underway with the help of a home tie on clay in Moscow. Across the net however will be Roger Federer, who almost single-handedly disposed of the United States’ challenge in last year’s first round. The Swiss 20-year-old will be joined by Marc Rosset, Michel Kratochvil and George Bastl.

With Gustavo Kuerten absent and resting his hip injury back home in Florianopolis, it will be Fernando Meligeni, Andre Sa, Alexandre Simoni and Flavio Saretta who travel to Ostrava to face the Czechs on carpet. Jiri Novak is back on Davis Cup duty following his run to the Australian Open semifinals, and he plays alongside David Rikl, Bohdan Ulihrach and Jan Vacek.

In Zaragoza, where a battle royal on clay will take place between Spain and Morocco, Spain are fielding the same team that took the nation to Davis Cup glory in 2000. Alex Corretja, Albert Costa, Juan Carlos Ferrero and Juan Balcells take on Doha champion Younes El Aynaoui and fellow Moroccans Hicham Arazi, Karim Alami and Mehdi Tahiri.

Croatia will be represented in its first World Group tie for seven years by Goran Ivanisevic, Ivan Ljubicic, Zeljko Krajan and Ivo Karlovic. At home in Zagreb they meet Germany in the shape of Tommy Haas, Nicolas Kiefer, David Prinosil and Rainer Schuettler.

Exactly which men play each other in the first round of Davis Cup by BNP Paribas will be revealed at the draw for each tie taking place on Thursday 7 February
 

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Good luck to Switzerland

Gooo Roger, Michel, Marc and George!!

You can pack these russian guys. Especially Roger and Michel have proven that they also have great chances on clay!!


Hoooopppppp Schwiiiizzz
 
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