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Davis Cup final: France drop Nicolas Mahut for doubles against Belgium

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David Goffin and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga
Davis Cup Final: France v Belgium
Venue: Pierre Mauroy Stadium, Lille, France Dates: 24-26 November
Coverage: Watch live on BBC Sport website and Connected TV 13:00-21:00 (Fri), 13:00-20:00 (Sat), 12:30-20:30 (Sun)

France captain Yannick Noah has dropped Nicolas Mahut and Julien Benneteau from the doubles before the Davis Cup final against Belgium begins on Friday.

They have been replaced by Richard Gasquet and Pierre-Hugues Herbert for Saturday’s doubles in Lille.

In Friday’s opening singles rubbers, France’s Lucas Pouille takes on Belgium’s David Goffin before Jo-Wilfried Tsonga plays Steve Darcis.

The final is live on the BBC Sport website from 13:00 GMT on Friday.

World number seven Goffin was runner-up at the ATP Finals in London, losing in three sets to Grigor Dimitrov on Sunday.

Herbert played alongside Mahut in the doubles in the same event but the pair withdrew from their final group match because Herbert had a back injury.

Herbert and Gasquet have never played together but Noah said: “There’s a first time for everything – I believe their style of play works very, very well together.”

“Last Thursday it was hard to imagine Pierre-Hugues playing, but I had the chance to pick him at the last moment. He’s been excellent over the past three days – he’s our best doubles player.”

France Belgium
17 (W9-L8) Previous finals Two (W0-L2)
Yannick Noah Captain Johan Van Herck
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (15) Players (world ranking) David Goffin (7)
Lucas Pouille (18) Steve Darcis (76)
Richard Gasquet (31) Ruben Bemelmans (118)
Pierre-Hugues Herbert (81) Joris de Loore (276)

Ruben Bemelmans and Joris de Loore will be Gasquet and Herbert’s opponents, with the reverse singles ties on Sunday.

Nine-time winners France have lost their past three finals, in 2002, 2010 and 2014. Belgium have lost in their two final appearances, including against Great Britain in 2015.

They have not won a Davis Cup tie in France for 65 years.

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