Last week, the French Davis Cup team captain Yannick Noah had said that he was wary of the world no.1 Rafael Nadal ahead of the France-Spain tie in Lille. But Nadal won't play due to a knee injury and Noah had mixed feelings about it.
'As a tennis fan, I'm disappointed that he won't be there. As a captain, it changes everything for the match', the 1983 French Open winner said. 'The set-up is totally different, especially in terms of preparation.
When Nadal plays, it's almost (a certain) two points for Spain. Now, that changes and we have to adapt to it. 'On paper the Spanish team are still better than ours. Playing Nadal at home, imagine the motivation, would have beeb enormous.
In Genova, when we played quarter-finals against Italy, in the end we all watched the tie between Spain and Germany. For four or five months, we only thought about Nadal. I would have liked him to be here, in order to see how it would be like.
Now everything is different. Playing in this stadium, in Lille, is really unique. The atmosphere is amazing. We are lucky to be in the semi-finals.' The other Davis Cup semi-final will be played between Croatia and the United States.
Croatia will be hosting the the in Zadar. France are the defending champions and are without the likes of Jo-Wilfried Tsona and Gael Monfils in their squad. ALSO READ: Andre Agassi: 'I could not cope with Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Djokovic'