Julien Benneteau will play for France in Davis Cup singles against Canada on Friday after Gael Monfils was ruled out with knee tendinitis.
Monfils was limping after losing the Montpellier final last weekend, and France captain Guy Forget didn’t want to risk playing his team’s second-best player on the opening day against Milos Raonic.
”When you are two days away from playing a match that big and that long, you have to evaluate the chances of your players against someone like Milos who’s a really dangerous and good player,” Forget said at the draw on Thursday.
Benneteau, who will play his fourth tie, said he was confident facing Raonic.
”He’s one of the best servers on the tour but I return well,” Benneteau said.
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga will open against Vasek Pospisil at Thunderbird Sports Centre.
Benneteau and Michael Llodra will team up against Daniel Nestor and Pospisil in Saturday’s doubles, while Sunday’s singles will see Tsonga take on Raonic and Benneteau meet Pospisil.
Canada qualified for the World Group for the first time in eight years with road victories over Mexico, Ecuador and Israel last year.
A win over France would give Canada its first berth in the quarterfinals.