Paris (AFP)

The France team will rely on Gael Monfils for the final round of the new Davis Cup formula, from November 18 to 24 in Madrid, announced Monday Captain Sebastien Grosjean.

Monfils, who has not played in the Davis Cup since March 2016, has been selected alongside Benoît Paire, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and duets Pierre-Hugues Herbert and Nicolas Mahut to face Serbia from Novak Djokovic and Japan at the the group stage of this first renewed edition of the centennial competition.

The French, outgoing finalists and winners in 2017, begin a new cycle under the leadership of Grosjean who succeeded Yannick Noah after the renunciation of Amelie Mauresmo, appointed first to replace the French tennis icon on the captain's chair .

The former World No.1 had finally declined the French federation's offer to coach Lucas Pouille, who ended his season on Friday due to a right elbow injury.

"Lucas was in the plans, unfortunately he will be absent until the end of the season," said press conference said Grosjean does not provide a training before the competition.

The captain assured that Monfils is "very motivated to play Davis Cup". "I had meetings with him on tournaments this year, he has the Davis Cup in mind," insisted Grosjean.

The French team will start against Japan on Tuesday 19 November before meeting Serbia on Thursday 21 at the Caja Magica in Madrid.

In the new format of the Davis Cup, the first of each of the six groups as well as the two best second (ratio and ratio points) will qualify for the quarter-finals. The matches will be played in the best of three matches (two singles and one doubles) in two winning sets.

© 2019 AFP