ATP Tour

France into Davis Cup final

2014-09-13 18:08
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (File)

Paris - France reached the Davis Cup final for the first time since 2010 on Saturday when they took an unassailable 3-0 lead over two-time defending champions Czech Republic in their semi-final.

In the November 21-23 final, France will tackle either Switzerland or Italy whose semi-final in Geneva saw the home side pegged back to 2-1 after the Italian team won Saturday's doubles.

At Roland Garros, nine-time champions France clinched the winning point when Richard Gasquet and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga defeated Tomas Berdych and Radek Stepanek 6-7 (4/7), 6-4, 7-6 (7/5), 6-1.

It was just the second loss in 17 doubles outings for the veteran Czech pair with their previous defeat coming in the 2009 final against Spain.

Gasquet and Tsonga, who had only previously played together on one occasion - in January's first round win over Australia - had won Friday's opening singles with Gasquet beating Berdych 6-3, 6-2, 6-3 and Tsonga seeing off Lukas Rosol 6-2, 6-2, 6-3.

However, their efforts on Saturday were aided by a hip injury to Stepanek while an out-of-sorts Berdych was clearly unsettled by the patriotic fervour inside Roland Garros, the home of the French Open.

Despite dropping the first set, the French pair capitalised on Stepanek's woes who struggled for movement around the court especially in the fourth set.

After two breaks of serve, Tsonga served out the match to secure a place in the final, four years after their last appearance which resulted in a defeat to Serbia.

"It's for sure one of the best moments in our career to play here in a semifinal and to win in the second day," said Tsonga.

"We always kept the fighting spirit and stayed in the match - we all know the Davis Cup is tough."

In Geneva, doubles duo Simone Bolelli and Fabio Fognini took advantage of the absence of Roger Federer to keep Italy's semi-final hopes alive.

Bolelli and Fognini both lost their singles ties on Friday to Federer and Stan Wawrinka respectively but came through 7-5, 3-6, 5-7, 6-3, 6-2 against Swiss pairing Wawrinka and Marco Chiudinelli to ensure that the tie will be decided on Sunday.

Federer, who was rested on Saturday as in 2009 against the same rivals, will once again be called on to seal the decisive point on Sunday against Fognini.

On Friday, Federer, a 17-time Grand Slam champion who has never appeared in a Davis Cup final, defeated Bolelli 7-6 (7/5), 6-4, 6-4 in the opening rubber and then Wawrinka crushed Fognini 6-2, 6-3, 6-2.

"This point was very important for us, even if Roger wasn't playing," said Fognini.

"I am much happier with my performance today, I served much better than yesterday, I returned much better. It's still going to be very difficult for us but it's a little less difficult than before."

The Swiss are bidding for a place in the Davis Cup final for just the second time after finishing second to the United States in 1992.

Read more on:    davis cup  |  tennis
NEXT ON SPORT24X

What To Read Next

 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.
Live Video Streaming
Sport Talk

Vote

Which is your favourite Grand Slam of the year?

 
 
Men
Women
Love 2 Meet
Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter

English Premiership flutter

Take Sport24's "expert" tips at your peril...

Featured

The 2017/18 Absa Premiership season is under way. Can Bidvest Wits defend their title? Will Soweto giants Kaizer Chiefs or Orlando Pirates emerge victorious? Or will the bookies' favourites, Mamelodi Sundowns, taste success for a record eighth time? Stay glued to Sport24 to find out!

Latest blogs
 

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

 
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.