The kings of clay are set to reign as holders Spain are favourites to keep their Davis Cup title defence on track despite taking on old foes Austria without world number two Rafael Nadal in the quarter-finals at home starting on Friday.
All four ties take place on the surface with France playing the United States in the Monte Carlo Country Club, the Czech Republic hosting Serbia in Prague and Argentina and Croatia going head to head in Buenos Aires.
Three of the world's top players will not be competing for their countries in the team tournament with Serbia's world number one Novak Djokovic, Nadal and ninth-ranked American Mardy Fish, all missing.
Despite being favourites, captain Alex Corretja said hosts Spanish would be approaching their tie "with respect and humility" given that Spain have won just one of their four previous meetings - in Vienna 33 years ago.
Nadal is suffering from a knee injury which forced him out of the Miami Masters last week, but world number five David Ferrer is back alongside Nico Almagro (12), Marcel Granollers (26) and Marc Lopez (1147).
The 30-year-old Ferrer arrives with three titles under his belt this season in Acapulco, Buenos Aires and Auckland, and a confident Corretja warned that "conditions here are perfect" for the Spanish at the Marina d'Or in Oropesa del Mar despite forecasts of rain for the weekend.
The Jurgen Melzer-led Austrians are returning to the quarter-finals after a 17-year absence.
"It's going to be difficult," said Ferrer, who will play near his home in Alicante, eastern Spain.
"Jurgen Melzer is a great player, who beat me on clay like he did Nico Almagro. They're (the Austrians) among the best in the world in the doubles."
Austria captain Clemens Trimmel said his side were hoping to pull off an upset despite the Spaniards last defeat at home being back in 1999.
"As we have seen on many occasions in the past, the Davis Cup often writes its own rules. Unexpected things can happen," said Trimmel.
"We are quite happy in the role of the underdog."
Nine-time winners France, looking for their third straight semi-final berth, lock horns once more against the USA, who have won the title a record 32 times, most recently in 2007.
The two nations have clashed 15 times with the Americans leading 8-7, including their most recent meeting in Winston-Salem, North Carolina in 2008.
Their last meeting, a semi-final in 2010, needed Djokovic and Janko Tipsarevic to pull Serbia back from 2-1 down on the final day, with the Serbs going on to win the title.
Oropesa del Mar (Castellon), Spain
Spain v Austria
France v USA
Czech Republic v Serbia
At Buenos Aires
Argentina v Croatia
Source: AFP Global Edition