If Monfils & Tsonga are fit, Forget will pick them 2 as the singles players and Llodra and Benny for the Doubles which means Richard will be the 5th/6th player!
You think as wrongly as Forget, always taking Tsonga, Gael and Llodra for granted. In my view one should not select a DC-team based on ranking alone, but look who is in form, who is good on the surface and also at match-ups e.g. Troicki-Simon.
Besides: Even if
one goes with the rankings, who says that in July it will be the same as now. Richard is not that far away from Tsonga right now.
If one reads French sites, one has the feeling that catastrophe is looming in Vienna. I keep saying that France's only real set-back for this tie was the withdrawal of Gael. This is exactly the proof of the benefits the DEPTH
in French tennis. Which other nation except Spain would be able to come up with a team, where the worst player is still Top 80 after nr. 1, 2 and 3 retired. Imagine Serbia without Djokovic, Tipsarevic and Troicki?
Having said that, it seems as if I contradict myself about the importance of ranking. Well, nr 17 or 25 is irrelevant, but the Austrian number 2 is 127 or 174, and that does make a difference.