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Nalbandian will open for Argentina against Croatia

David Nalbandian will be first up Friday for Argentina in its Davis Cup quarterfinal matchup with Croatia in Buenos Aires.

The best-of-five affair will be held on red clay at Parque Roca.

The 50th-ranked Nalbandian will be opposed by world No. 23 Marin Cilic in the opening singles rubber and that bout will be followed by a match between former U.S. Open champion Juan Martin del Potro and 6-foot-10 Croat Ivo Karlovic.

Saturday's doubles in Buenos Aires will pit an Argentine tandem of Nalbandian and Eduardo Schwank against a Croatian pairing of Cilic and Lovro Zovko, while Sunday's reverse singles have the world No. 10 del Potro taking on Cilic and the oft-injured former Wimbledon runner-up Nalbandian facing the towering 52nd-ranked Karlovic.

The Argentines also have world No. 16 Juan Monaco at their disposal this weekend.

Argentina is 2-0 all-time versus Croatia, with both victories coming in quarterfinals (2002, 2006).

The tough-luck Argentines are captained by Martin Jaite, while team Croatia is guided by Zeljko Krajan.

Argentina is a four-time runner-up and still seeking that elusive first-ever Davis Cup championship. The Argentines lost to mighty Spain in last year's final in Seville and have lost in three of the last six Davis Cup finals overall.

Croatia captured its lone Davis Cup title in 2005.

The Argentina-Croatia winner will meet the Czech Republic-Serbia victor in the semifinals in September.