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Tsonga will open for France in Vancouver

Thu 9th, February 2012

Vancouver, BC (Sports Network) - Former Australian Open runner-up Jo-Wilfried Tsonga will get France going Friday in its opening-round Davis Cup tie against host Canada.

The world No. 6 Tsonga will meet Vasek Pospisil in the first singles match of the week, while Friday's second bout will pit Frenchman Julien Benneteau against rising Canadian star Milos Raonic.

Saturday's doubles will pit a French team of Julien Benneteau and Michael Llodra against a Canadian duo of Pospisil and doubles great Daniel Nestor, while Sunday's reverse singles call for Tsonga to face the 21-year-old Raonic and Benneteau to meet the 21-year-old Pospisil. Tsonga titled in Doha last month, while Raonic was a winner in Chennai in January.

The best-of-five matchup will be staged on an indoor hardcourt at Vancouver's Thunderbird Sports Centre, where team France will play without three of its top-four players this week.

The French are led by long-time captain Guy Forget, while the Canadians will be guided by Martin Laurendeau. France owns nine Davis Cup titles, with its last one coming in 2001, while Canada has never even reached a World Group final.

France is 1-0 all-time against the Canadians, with the victory coming in Paris back in 1966.

Canada is in the World Group for the first time since 2004.

The winner here will face the Switzerland-USA victor in the quarterfinals in April.

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