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Swiss Davis Cup line-up still unclear

Hlasek says he's still considering his options

(Keystone Archive)

Switzerland's Davis Cup captain, Jakob Hlasek, has insisted that Marc Rosset is still set to play in next month's quarter-final tie against France, despite the player's omission from Hlasek's provisional four-man team-list.

Hlasek explained that he was forced by the competition's rules to name a four-man squad ten days before the start of the tie. He said that he had stuck with his regular four players (Roger Federer, Lorenzo Manta, Michel Kratochvil and George Bastl) for the provisional list because he was still deciding whom to drop.

The Swiss captain can make changes to his provisional line-up right until the eve of the tie, on April 5. But despite insisting that nothing has been decided yet, Hlasek appears keen on naming Rosset in his final team list.

"I made the decision (not to name Rosset) because I didn't want to drop the fifth player just yet," said Hlasek. "I didn't want to decide this early whether Bastl or Kratochvil will be left out."

Hlasek said he would only omit Rosset from the final squad if the player himself wished to be left out, and said that he had spoken with Rosset to explain his absence from the provisional line-up.

However, Hlasek insisted that Rosset would still have to prove himself worthy of a place in one of the singles rubbers.

"I want to await the outcome of the training and take stock of all the facts before making my decision, " Hlasek said. "If Marc plays well and has confidence, there's a good chance he will be playing."

Rosset's return to Davis Cup action after an absence of nearly two years became a real possibility only last weekend following a meeting at which the Swiss number two and Hlasek appeared to have patched up their long-standing differences.

The two former doubles partners fell out at the start of last season after Hlasek decided to drop Rosset from the squad.

With or without Rosset, Switzerland are certain to face a tough challenge from a French squad which includes no less than three players currently ranked in the world's top 20.

France captain Guy Forget has named Arnaud Clement (ATP 11), Sebastien Grosjean (ATP 15) and Cedric Pioline (ATP 20) in his provisional squad along with doubles specialist Fabrice Santoro. Nicolas Escude (ATP 32) has been called up as a practice partner and potential replacement should any of the French team drop out.

swissinfo with agencies


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