Hopman Cup: Gael Monfils withdraws with leg injury
Hopman Cup: Gael Monfils withdraws with leg injury (Source: Padelcentrum)

Days before the start of the tennis season and of the Hopman Cup, France's Gael Monfils has had to withdraw due to an 'unspecified' leg injury and faces an uncertain few weeks if he is to be fully fit for the Australian Open.  His place in the team has been taken by Kenny De Schepper, but it now leaves one of the early favourites seriously depleted.  

Does this put an end to France's hopes? 

Going into the Hopman Cup eager to reclaim their 2014 trophy, the French team made up of Caroline Garcia and Monfils looked to be one of the strongest on paper and with a good chance of escaping Group B.  However, De Schepper's sudden swap leaves them as the only team in the group without a male player inside the top 100.  

For more info on all of the players at the Hopman Cup, read our preview here

Ranking at 148 in the world, De Schepper's 2015 season was tough, spending most of the time on the challenger circuit. However he did reach the second round of Wimbledon, where he lost to his fellow Frenchman Richard Gasquet.  He joins Garcia in making his debut in the Hopman Cup. 

The giant De Schepper stands at 6ft 8" (Source: menstennisforum)
The giant De Schepper stands at 6ft 8" (Source: menstennisforum)

Will Monfils be fit in time for the Australian Open? 

At this moment in time, it remains unclear whether or not the mysterious injury will hamper Monfils' chances of appearing in the first grand slam of the year, which begins on the 18th of January. 

The French team, meanwhile, begin their Hopman Cup campaing on Sunday as they play the Brits.  

Stay tuned to VAVEL for all the latest on the Hopman Cup and the whole of the 2016 tennis season 

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