PARIS (AP) France captain Yannick Noah has replaced Gilles Simon with Jeremy Chardy for the Davis Cup quarterfinal against Britain.
Noah said Chardy seemed to have adapted more quickly in training for the series on indoor clay, saying that ”it was not an easy choice, but I preferred to make it quite quickly.”
Simon is ranked 30 and has more experience than Chardy, who is ranked 68 and has played only three Davis Cup matches, winning all three in singles.
”Gilles has always supported us. He’s been a part of every adventure since I’ve been captain,” Noah said on Wednesday. ”He’s always been irreproachable and has a lot of class. It’s never nice (to leave someone out) but it’s part of my job.”
France will be without its two best players, with No. 10 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and No. 11 Gael Monfils both ruled out. No. 22 Richard Gasquet is also missing, leaving No. 17 Lucas Pouille as France’s highest-ranked player. He is joined by Nicolas Mahut and doubles specialist Pierre-Hugues Herbert.
Britain will be without top-ranked Andy Murray as he recovers from an elbow injury.
Daniel Evans, Kyle Edmund, Jamie Murray and Dominic Inglot line up for Britain, the 2015 champion.
France lost the 2014 final to Switzerland and the 2010 final to Serbia and has not won the competition since 2001.
Play begins Friday at the Kindarena in Rouen.
It will be the first time that France and Britain face off on clay since the British team won 3-2 in the Europe semifinals in 1978 at Roland Garros.