VANCOUVER - The gamesmanship has begun at the Davis Cup tie between Canada and France.
No sooner had Friday's singles matches ended with the teams deadlocked 1-1 then both team captains talked about changing their lineups. Both French captain Guy Forget and Canadian counterpart Martin Laurendeau said they could revise their doubles pairings Saturday and final singles participants Sunday.
"The thing is, we have good options on the table," said Laurendeau. "We have three good players that can play doubles, and either formation is going to make a great team for us led by Daniel Nestor. So we're going to see how the bodies are feeling."
Both teams set lineups involving three players apiece in Thursday's match draw, but have the option of bringing in their fourth players.
Toronto's Nestor, 39, the world's third-ranked doubles player, and Vasek Pospisil of Vernon, B.C., 21, are slated to compete for Canada in doubles against France's Julien Benneteau and Michael Llodra, who is ranked fifth in the world in doubles.
Pospisil said he will be fine physically after losing in straight sets in just under two hours to sixth-ranked Jo-Wilfred Tsonga on Friday.
"It wasn't really a draining match," Pospisil said.
The most significant change will likely see France's Gael Monfils, the world's 13th-ranked singles player, slide into the fifth and final match of the competition on Sunday.
That is, if the match is necessary.
Monfils, who was held out because of knee tendinitis, was moving well and hitting the ball hard in a practice session after Friday's matches.
Forget said it's "very possible" Monfils will play Sunday if the outcome of the best-of-five competition is still in doubt. He won't play doubles.
"We decided to save him for the eventual Sunday match," said Forget. "But he's working out and he's testing himself as well. He's ready to play if I ask him to play."