<
>

Lucas Pouille to lead France in Davis Cup final against Croatia

PARIS -- Lucas Pouille will lead France in the Davis Cup final against Croatia this month as the hosts bid to win successive titles.

Pouille was the highest-ranked player among Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, Jeremy Chardy, Nicolas Mahut and Pierre-Hugues Herbert in the team picked by captain Yannick Noah on Tuesday

Pouille wrapped up France's 10th Davis title last year by winning the decisive point against Belgium in the final.

France's top player, the 26th-ranked Richard Gasquet, announced his withdrawal on Monday because of a groin injury.

In the absence of Gasquet, Gael Monfils and Gilles Simon, Pouille is the best ranked French player at No. 32. Tsonga has been sidelined by a knee injury for most of the season and dropped to 261st.

On paper, the Croats are favorites with No. 7-ranked Marin Cilic and No. 12 Borna Coric.

"The only thing I know is that our goal is to win against the Croats," Noah said. "The mindset, the ability to adapt to clay, and the commitment to Davis Cup are what really matters."

Like last year, the final will be at Pierre Mauroy Stadium in the northern city of Lille from Nov. 23-25 under a retractable roof.

Noah has summoned his players for a training camp nearby outside the city.

"It's easier to work as a group away from all the excitement," he said.

Pouille, Tsonga, and Chardy have already started training. Herbert and Mahut will join them after playing doubles at the ATP Finals in London.

Noah, who guided France to two Davis Cup titles as a player and one as coach, will step down after the final, and Amelie Mauresmo will take over.