Great Britain captain Leon Smith admitted his envy over the resources available to rivals France after his side’s Davis Cup quarter-final defeat ended in somewhat farcical circumstances.
With France holding an unassailable lead, Dan Evans beat Julien Benneteau 6-1, 6-2, although during the second set Nicolas Mahut and coach Yannick Moah entered the court in a light-hearted three-versus-one tussle.
Jeremy Chardy then defeated Kyle Edmund 6-4, 6-4 in a most serious contest as France posted a 4-1 triumph overall, while Smith was left to ponder the depth of British talent he can call upon.
After Andy Murray, absent from Rouen with an elbow injury, Evans, Edmund and Aljaz Bedene, ineligible for the Davis Cup having already represented Slovenia, the highest-ranked played Smith can call upon is world No237 Cameron Norrie.
“The big difference in our nation compared to the big hitters is someone like France, who have 19 in the top 200,” said Smith. “We’ve got four in the top 100 and then that’s it.
“This is a great team but it would be nice to have player who are joining guys on tour, sitting around 75, even 125, 150. It just means you’ve got more of a conveyor belt coming through.
“Do I think it’s round the corner? Maybe with a couple of them but there’s certainly no conveyor belt.”
France will play Serbia in the competition’s semi-final in September.