Spain include Rafael Nadal for Davis Cup as France opt for Benoit Paire

Rafael Nadal looking back

World No 1 Rafael Nadal will lead Spain’s charge during their Davis Cup semi-final tie against France.

The 17-time Grand Slam winner made his Davis Cup return during the quarter-final with Germany in April this year following a hiatus of nearly two years.

And he will be back when Spain take on defending champions in the last four at Stade Pierre Mauroy in Lille from September 14-16, much to captain Sergi Bruguera’s delight.

“It is a luxury for every country to be able to count on Rafael Nadal whenever he can play, and we are lucky to have him in our squad,” he said.

“We are in the semi-final against the best team from the last couple of seasons. It will be a very tough tie because the home team has always a slight advantage over the visitors, especially with the crowd on their side.”

Pablo Carreno Busta, Roberto Bautista Agut, Marcel Granollers and Feliciano Lopez make up the rest of the squad.

France captain Yannick Noah, meanwhile, has surprisingly included Benoit Paire in his squad.

The mercurial Paire is yet to play a Davis Cup match for his country, but Noah believes he will bring something different to his team.

“He’s really up for it,” he said. “Benoit’s style is interesting when you consider the opponent. I’ve been wanting to play him for a while.

“He gives us plenty of options as a number three when you are playing a typical Spanish team with Nadal and the others.”

Lucas Pouille, Richard Gasquet, Julien Bennetteau and Nicolas Mahut are also on the squad.