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France and Croatia name Davis Cup final teams

France and Croatia name Davis Cup final teams
FILE PHOTO: Tennis - Davis Cup Final - France vs Belgium - Stade Pierre Mauroy, Lille, France - November 26, 2017 France captain Yannick Noah and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga kiss the trophy after winning the Davis Cup Final REUTERS/Yves Herman/File Photo   -   Copyright  Yves Herman(Reuters)
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LONDON (Reuters) – France and Croatia have both named their teams for next week’s Davis Cup final in Lille — the last before the format of the 118-year-old team event is changed next year.

Holders France, bidding to win back-to-back titles for the first time since the 1930s, are without their three top-ranked players, which means world number 32 Lucas Pouille will shoulder the singles burden at the Stade Pierre Mauroy.

Captain Yannick Noah is without injured Richard Gasquet, Gael Monfils and Gilles Simon but Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, ranked down at 261 after injuries is included.

Jeremy Chardy and top-20 doubles players Pierre-Hugues Herbert and Nicolas Mahut complete the line-up.

Croatia captain Zeljko Krajan is able to name a full-strength lineup with world number seven Marin Cilic and Borna Coric, ranked a career-high 12th, leading their charge.

Franko Skugor, Mate Pavic and stalwart Ivan Dodig complete the Croatian team who are trying to win the Davis Cup for the Balkan nation for only the second time after their 2005 title.

Croatia won the most recent clash between the nations, 3-2 in the 2016 semi-finals.

Next year a revamped Davis Cup will feature an 18-nation finals week in Madrid in November.

(Reporting by Martyn Herman; Editing by Toby Davis)

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