Noah puts faith in Chardy for Davis Cup final
Yannick Noah is confident Jeremy Chardy and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga can lead France to Davis Cup glory after naming the duo as his singles players against Croatia.
Chardy and Tsonga were given the nod ahead of Lucas Pouille despite the latter being the highest-ranked player with the France squad.
The decision to omit Pouille may have surprised some, but Noah has full confidence in the world number 40 – who will meet Borna Coric in the opening rubber on Friday.
"For the last two months I was looking at so many ways, so many options, so many players," Noah told reporters.
"I had to decide whether I was putting first their spirit, their involvement with the team, their recent results, their health, so there were a lot of things coming into play.
"After looking every day at what was happening – their reactions, the sets we played – I thought that the best thing for the team was to start on Friday with these two players."
Chardy's inclusion did not surprise Croatia captain Zeljko Krajan, but he kept faith with his big names as Coric and world number seven Marin Cilic were confirmed as his singles players.
He said: "When we heard that [Gael] Monfils and [Gilles] Simon weren't playing and then with [Richard] Gasquet pulling out, [when you] follow Yannick's moves sometimes he has 'jokers' that he pulls out of his pocket.
"It's not realistic that a player should play with their ranking, but Yannick finds those guys and motivates them to play good and to win their matches.
"For some reason, I thought maybe Chardy would be Yannick's 'joker' this week. I just hope he isn't as successful as he's been in the Davis Cup in the past."
Cilic will face Tsonga in Friday's second match, before the singles matches are reversed on Sunday after the doubles encounter that sees Pierre-Hugues Herbert and Nicolas Mahut go up against Ivan Dodig and Mate Pavic.