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Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Lucas Pouille are by far the two highest-ranked players in the tie. (AP)

Five Fast Facts: Dissecting the France vs. Serbia Davis Cup Matchup

LILLE, France—The semifinals of Davis Cup by BNP Paribas take place this weekend and one of the matchups is an absolute blockbuster between a pair of former champions: France and Serbia.

You can watch France vs. Serbia LIVE on Tennis Channel—and here are Five Fast Facts about it, too:

1. France and Serbia have only played each other once before—but it was a big one: Since Serbia stopped playing under the flag of Yugoslavia, these two countries have only played once, in the Davis Cup final in 2010, with Serbia winning the title in front of their home crowd in Belgrade.

2. This time, France is the host: Frenchmen Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, Lucas Pouille, Pierre-Hugues Herbert and Nicolas Mahut will host the Serbian team of Dusan Lajovic, Laslo Djere, Filip Krajinovic and Nenad Zimonjic at Stade Pierre Mauroy in Lille, France. The surface will be outdoor clay.

France, who is trying to reach its 18th Davis Cup final, is even more dangerous on home soil—they’ve won six of their last seven home ties, the only loss coming to Switzerland in the 2014 final.

3. Tsonga and Pouille are by far the two highest-ranked players in the tie: At No. 18 and No. 22, they’re actually the only two players in the Top 60—but they’re both looking to rebound from upset losses at the US Open. Tsonga was upset by Denis Shapovalov and Pouille lost to Diego Schwartzman.

Tsonga has done a lot of winning in Davis Cup, though. He’s 24-8 lifetime (which includes 18-7 in singles).

4. Meanwhile, Lajovic played some of his best tennis in New York: The Serb lost in the first round, but it was to world No. 1 and eventual champion Rafael Nadal—and he very nearly took a set off of him.

Serbia is trying to reach its third final after the previously mentioned 2010 title (beating France in the final) and a runner-up finish in 2013 (to the Czechs). Lajovic is their No. 1 singles player in this tie.

5. There’s some serious doubles talent among the field, too: Zimonjic is the most accomplished of them all, a former world No. 1 in doubles with eight career majors (three in men’s doubles and five in mixed). Mahut and Herbert have two majors each, and they won them together—at the US Open in 2015 and Wimbledon in 2016. They’ve also been ranked as high as No. 1 and No. 2, respectively.

Read more articles by John Berkok

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