France coach Clement picks Benneteau vs. Czechs


Richard Gasquet, of France, bows his head in a break between games against Gael Monfils, of France, during the third round of the U.S. Open tennis tournament Sunday, Aug. 31, 2014, in New York. (Jason DeCrow/Associated Press)
September 1

PARIS — France captain Arnaud Clement picked Julien Benneteau instead of Gilles Simon on Monday in his team to face two-time defending champion Czech Republic in their Davis Cup semifinal this month.

Tenth-ranked Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, No. 14 Richard Gasquet and No. 24 Gael Monfils have also been selected for the best-of-five series, which is to be held at Roland Garros — home of the French Open — from Sept. 12-14.

“Julien didn’t play very well at the U.S. Open (losing in the first round), but he is experienced and I can count on him whether it’s singles or doubles,” Clement said.

Simon has been named as a replacement, the French Tennis Federation said Monday, although Clement can change his team up until the eve of the match.

With Michael Llodra out with a left elbow injury, Clement must decide who will play alongside Benneteau in the doubles.

“I have a lot of options,” Clement said. “I have three possible doubles teams: Richard and Jo; Jo and Julien, but also Julien and Richard.”

The countries are tied at 7-7 in Davis Cup meetings but have not met since 2009, when the Czechs beat France 3-2 in the first round.

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