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Harrison replaces Sock

Yannick Noah.APClaude Paris  

Jack Sock is out of the USA team for the Davis Cup semifinals against Croatia because of a hip injury and has been replaced by Ryan Harrison.

U.S. captain Jim Courier said Sock was hurt last week while playing in the doubles semifinals at the U.S. Open with Mike Bryan. Harrison was already on standby for the Davis Cup.

Courier said: “It’s a factor in Davis Cup all the time, having to be prepared for these last-minute changes.”

Sock is ranked No. 17 in singles and No. 2 in doubles.

The winner of the best-of-five series will meet either France or Spain in the final.

At Lille, France captain Yannick Noah said World No. 1 Rafael Nadal’s absence from the Spain team “changes everything”.

The 17-time Grand Slam champion has helped Spain capture the annual trophy four times, in 2004, 2008, 2009 and 2011, but was ruled out of facing France with a knee injury.

The long-standing problem flared up again at the US Open when Nadal had to retire during his semifinal against Juan Del Potro last week.

“As a tennis fan I’m disappointed that he won’t be there,” Noah said on Tuesday.

“As a captain, it changes everything for the match. 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.”

With World No. 55 Albert Ramos-Vinolas stepping in to replace Nadal, Noah accepts that “of course we’ve got more chance”.

But he cautioned: “On paper the Spanish team are still better than ours.”

Joining Ramos for Spain are Pablo Carreno Busta (World No. 21), Roberto Bautista Agut (26), Feliciano Lopez (74) and Marcel Granollers (101).

Representing France are Lucas Pouille (19), Richard Gasquet (24), Benoit Paire (54), Nicolas Mahut (150) and Julien Benneteau (57).

Spain skipper Sergi Bruguera agree with Noah that Nadal’s absence has a massive bearing on the complexion of the Lille semifinal.

“It changes a lot, it changes everything, but it is like it is, and we have a very good team all the same. We’ll fight and see what happens,” Bruguera said.