Argentina, Germany ready for Davis Cup battle

Argentina and Germany will open their best-of-five opening-round Davis Cup affair in Buenos Aires on Friday.

The opening singles rubber will pit the hosts' Carlos Berlocq against 19th- ranked German Philipp Kohlschreiber, while the other Day-1 rubber will have world No. 12 Argentine Juan Monaco facing Florian Mayer.

Saturday's doubles on the red clay at Parque Roca will pit an Argentine tandem of former Wimbledon singles runner-up David Nalbandian and Horacio Zeballos against a German duo of Kohlschreiber and Christopher Kas, while Sunday's reverse singles have Monaco taking on Kohlschreiber and Berlocq tangling with Mayer.

Argentina is playing without world No. 7 star and former U.S. Open champion Juan Martin del Potro, who is nursing some sore wrists.

The Argentines are captained by Martin Jaite, while the Germans are guided by Carsten Arriens.

Argentina is 6-2 all-time against Germany, including a first-round victory in Bamberg last year.

The Argentines are still seeking that elusive first-ever Davis Cup title, while the Germans have hoisted the chalice three times, with their last championship coming 20 years ago.

The winner in Buenos Aires will meet the France-Israel victor in the quarterfinals in April.