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Arnaud Clément loses job as France Davis Cup captain

With Arnaud Clément as captain, France reached the final of the Davis Cup in 2014 but lost to Switzeland
With Arnaud Clément as captain, France reached the final of the Davis Cup in 2014 but lost to Switzeland AFP/ Denis Charlet

The French Tennis Federation (FFT) dismissed the France Davis Cup team captain Arnaud Clément on Friday. The 37-year-old had been in charge for the last three years.

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The FFT announced Clément's dismissal on Twitter on Friday and commended his commitment during his reign as France's captain.

Clément's future had been in doubt ever since France lost to Great Britain in the quarter-finals of the Davis Cup in July at the Queen's Club in west London.

The defeat was a disappointment, as France boasted a superior team on paper, with three out of their four players ranked among the world's top 50.

Throughout the competition, many of Clément's decisions were criticised.

Dropping the then 11th-ranked Richard Gasquet from the first singles rubber just weeks after his run to the semi-finals of Wimbledon raised eyebrows.

Equally controversial was the pairing of Jo-Wilfred Tsonga with Nicolas Mahut in the doubles. The French team lost to the brothers Andy and Jamie Murray.

Andy Murray ultimately emerged as the star of the weekend. The 28-year-old won all his three matches. As well as the doubles victory with his elder sibling, he beat both Gilles Simon and Tsonga.

During his 16-year career as a player, Clément was one of France's leading men on the circuit. He reached the Australian Open final in 2001, losing to Andre Agassi.

He eventually tasted grand slam success with compatriot Michael Llodra. They won the doubles at Wimbledon in 2007.

But since he took over as captain of the Davis Cup team in 2012, the squad has failed to claim the sought-after trophy. They twice reached the quarter-finals and lost in the final against a Stan Wawrinka and Roger Federer inspired Switzerland in 2014.

On 14 September, the FFT said it would give itself a week to weigh up Clément's future, criticisng the way he managed France's top players.

His departure paves the way for the return of former captain Yannick Noah.

The winner of the 1983 French Open captained France to two Davis cup victories in the 1990s. The 55-year-old is one of France's most popular celebrities.

Noah has stated that he is ready to lead the French team if called upon.

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