France's Davis Cup squad have backed captain Guy Forget's decision to drop veteran Fabrice Santoro for this weekend's World Group first-round clash against Germany.
Source: Sporting Life
Santoro enjoyed the best Grand Slam performance of his career at the Australian Open when he reached the quarter-finals.
Forget then called him up for the Davis Cup match in Halle but reversed his decision at the last minute after Santoro committed himself to an exhibition tournament in Tarbes last weekend.
Forget accused him of choosing money over the chance to play for his country in a competition where his contribution has proved essential in recent years.
Santoro expressed his disappointment at his skipper's decision but other players - Sebastien Grosjean, Arnaud Clement and Richard Gasquet - have taken Forget's side.
Clement said: "All the players had agreed to gather on Saturday, Santoro knew that would happen.
"So why did he commit himself to doing this exhibition in Tarbes? We were all very disappointed and surprised when we found out.
"I don't even understand why Guy is trying to justify himself," he added.
"This is not between Fabrice and Guy, but between Fabrice and the whole team. No-one would have done what he did."
Grosjean also questioned Santoro's commitment to the national team, saying: "I was present on Saturday even though my wife is expected to give birth in two weeks' time.
"I would have rather stayed at home with her and my kids.
"I am disappointed (by Santoro) but he put himself in this situation."
For youngster Gasquet, Santoro made an error of judgement.
"Fabrice made a mistake," he said. "It is not normal to give priority to an exhibition tournament over the Davis Cup.
"We were all present on Friday evening. You have to prepare for a clash like that and I fully understand Guy's decision."
Forget insisted he had no personal axe to grind with Santoro but expected him to have a better collective awareness.
"I am not against Fabrice at all, however I am asking him to commit himself to us," Forget said.
"If Richard (Gasquet) or Michael Llodra had done the same I would have reacted the same way.
"I feel sad for Fabrice because I feel he regrets that he missed out on something," he added.
"But on the other hand he is not a kid anymore - he could have thought about it. There is no need to come and cry now."