2021 Davis Cup Finals nation preview: France

IN November, the 2021 Davis Cup takes place across three cities in Europe as 18 teams aim to lift the ultimate international men’s team prize. Six groups of three sees the group winner automatically advancing to the knockout quarter finals, with the two next best nations also moving through. In the lead-up to the event, Rookie Me Central will be previewing each of the nations in reverse world ranking order.


Rank: 1st

Captain: Sebastian Grosjean



Group C:

vs. Czech Republic | November 25

vs. Great Britain | November 27

The Davis Cup world number one is France, a nation that hopes to breakaway from Great Britain and record its eleventh overall title to be third behind superpowers United States and Australia. Whilst the French have been in plenty of finals over the past two decades, they have only added two titles from seven finals. Their most recent came in 2017, when they defeated surprise packets Belgium in Lille, before losing at the same venue on clay a year later to Croatia. After not being able to reach the final in the last contested event back in 2019, France holds onto the world number one spot, but might have more issues retaining it after this event.

There is no guarantee France survives the group stage, with form on their opponents’ Great Britain’s side. The British have Cameron Norrie and Daniel Evans who have enjoyed career-best years, whilst Ugo Humbert started in a blaze of glory, but has fizzled out towards the end. Still, the world number 29 has been a player the French have needed to blood at this level for a long time. With repeated injuries to Gael Monfils and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, Humbert has always been the most dangerous Frenchman on Tour, even if not consistent. The likes of Benoit Paire and Adrian Mannarino represent the past of French tennis – reliable servants who can trouble anyone on their day – but not the future, with the outstanding call from Sebastian Grosjean to bring in the well-travelled 26-year-old Arthur Rinderknech.

Rinderknech has played a remarkable 55 tournaments this year and has seen more court time than most, rising up to 62nd in the world. Richard Gasquet provides that familiarity with the singles, but the question is, can they grab a in against the in-form British duo. Even the Czech Republic will not be a push over, though outside of Jiri Vesely the French should cover them. The doubles duo of Nicolas Mahut and Pierre-Hugues Herbert – both ranked inside the Top 10 – has the potential to help them get further than the otherwise might if the French can win a singles match each tie. In saying that, the third ranked Joe Salisbury and 20th ranked Neal Skupski also forms a tough duo for Great Britain. The match to decide the group winner on November 27 will be one of the head-to-heads to watch.

Prediction: 2nd in Group C

IN A SENTENCE: “France is always a threat, and whilst they do not have their best combination in, they have taken the chance of blooding youngsters for the future, and the doubles combination will worry a lot of other nations.”


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