Gael Monfils included in France Davis Cup team to face Germany despite reluctance to play



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PARIS — France captain Arnaud Clement surprisingly included Gael Monfils on Tuesday in his team to face Germany in the first round of the Davis Cup next week.

Monfils complained of tiredness last week and withdrew from the World Group tie on the advice of coach Jan de Witt, but was picked on Tuesday alongside Gilles Simon, Richard Gasquet and Davis Cup debutant Nicolas Mahut.

De Witt wanted Monfils to take a short break from competitive matches to find time for extra training after the pair started working together earlier this year.

But Clement said that Monfils changed his mind and gave him a phone call on Monday to let him know that he was available.

"He confirmed that he really wanted to join us and take part in the tie," Clement said. "With lots of happiness and relief. I'm glad that he will be bringing good energy, it bodes well for this first round tie."

The 19th-ranked Monfils has an excellent Davis Cup record, with 10 victories in 12 singles matches. He told a conference call with reporters that he had a lengthy discussion with his coach and that they finally found common ground.

"Then I called (Clement) to tell him that I would never refuse a selection. I told him that I had expressed the wish to be rested if possible, but that I was able for selection if he needed me."

The French, who lost to Switzerland in the 2014 final, face the Germans from March 6-8 in Frankfurt in a rematch of last year's quarterfinal when they rallied from a 2-0 deficit.

France's No. 1 player, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, is still recovering from a right forearm injury and was not available. In his absence, the in-form Simon is expected to lead the team. Simon beat Monfils in the Open 13 final last weekend to claim his 12th career title.

Germany captain Michael Kohlmann has named Philipp Kohlschreiber, Benjamin Becker, Jan-Lennard Struff and Andre Begemann in his team.

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