Sebastien Grosjean assured him, Gael Monfils is more than motivated to play the Davis Cup (November 18-24, in Madrid). At a press conference held Monday morning at the National Training Center of the French Tennis Federation (FFT), the captain of the France team explained his choice to recall the current 14th of the ranking ATP, who has not played in the Davis Cup since March 2016: “When I was named in December of last year, I called all players, including Gael (Monfils), to collect his feelings, whether he wanted to play. From the first conversations, he was very motivated to play. I had several exchanges with him in the year, (…) and he has the Davis Cup in mind. I saw him last week at the Antwerp tournament. His desire and his motivation have not changed since last December.“
Clarity by Yannick Noah in 2016, after the relations between the two men were stretched – Gael Monfils had declared flat just before the Davis Cup semi-final against Croatia in September 2016 – the 33-year-old Parisian had not participated in the victory in 2017 or the 2018 edition which saw the Bleus bow against Croatia in the final. Monfils is back, alongside Benoît Pair, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and duettists Nicolas Mahut and Pierre-Hugues Herbert.
As for Lucas Puglia (19th in the ATP standings), who recently dropped out due to a right elbow injury, he will not compete in the Davis Cup, but he was part of Sébastien Grosjean's plans: “He is young, his ranking and his experience in the Davis Cup obviously made him a select player.”
A different preparation for the new formula
Before starting this new format Davis Cup, which will see France face Serbia from Novak Djokovic and Japan in the group stage, Sébastien Grosjean mentioned the conditions of play and preparation that will be different from previous editions: “It is prepared differently. We must anticipate our potential opponents in the quarter, even if we must stay focused on the opponents of the pool. On a physical level, it will not be necessarily more difficult, because the matches will not be in three sets but in two sets.“
And if this new format has disappointed the players at first, Sebastien Grosjean is confident that they will ignore it to give the best of themselves for the selection: “The desire to represent the French team in Davis Cup is above all, I did not need to convince them, they had this desire. In the head, there was always this meeting of end of year in team of France.“An appointment on November 19, for the first game of the Blues against the Japanese selection.