France to host Switzerland on clay in Davis Cup
PARIS (AP) -- France will play the Davis Cup final against Switzerland on indoor clay in a bid to thwart Roger Federer's quest for a first win in the team competition.
The final will be held at the 27,000-capacity Pierre Mauroy Stadium in Lille from Nov. 21-23, under a retractable roof.
France is third on the list of all-time winners and bidding for a 10th Davis Cup title. Switzerland is looking for its first.
With the best-of-five series scheduled five days after the ATP finals, France's decision Monday looks like a strategic move because Stan Wawrinka and Federer, who are expected to play at the hardcourt tournament, could struggle to adapt to clay.
The 17-time Grand Slam champion and Wawrinka, who won Olympic gold together in doubles, are favorites to win the trophy. But they will face a strong France team including Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, Gael Monfils and Richard Gasquet.
Both Tsonga and Gasquet have beaten Federer on clay.
"It won't have a big impact on the result," the 12th-ranked Tsonga said of the surface. "All the players that will be involved are capable of playing well on all surfaces."
Switzerland reached the final only once before, losing in 1992 against a United States team of Andre Agassi, Jim Courier, John McEnroe and Pete Sampras.