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French captain selects Gasquet for Davis Cup doubles finale
Last Updated: 2017-11-24 09:20 | Xinhua
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French tennis captain Yannick Noah has surprisingly chosen Richard Gasquet to partner with Pierre-Hugues Herbert for the Davis Cup final against Belgium this weekend.

Herbert won the 2015 US Open and the 2016 Wimbledon doubles title with Nicolas Mahut, but the pair was not preferred by Noah this time. Instead, Herbert and Gasquet will make their debut as doubles partners in the final.

Noah, for his part, says "there is a first time for everything."

Noah also recruited singles players Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Lucas Pouille for the squad, with veteran Julien Benneteau as a reserve.

Following Thursday's drawing ceremony, the two sides will kick off the finale on Friday as Pouille is set to face top-ranked Belgian David Goffin.

Goffin, world No. 7 and last week's finalist at the ATP Finals in London, has never beaten Pouille in their three previous meetings.

Their opening match will be followed by the contest between Tsonga and Belgium's Steve Darcis.

Up against Gasquet and Herbert in Saturday's doubles will be Ruben Bemelmans and Joris de Loore.

On Sunday, Tsonga will take on Goffin, while Pouille's opponent will be Darcis.

Nine-time winner France will host Belgium at the Stade Pierre-Mauroy in the northern city of Lille, seeking its first title since 2001, after falling short in the 2002, 2010 and 2014 finals.

Clinching its first title is the mission for Belgium after making its second final appearance for the past three years.

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