Sun, February 12, 2012
Sports > Soccer

France beat Canada in Davis Cup doubles match

2012-02-12 03:42:19 GMT2012-02-12 11:42:19(Beijing Time)  Xinhua English

VANCOUVER, Fab. 11 (Xinhua) -- Fourth-ranked France is one match from advancing to meet the United States in Davis Cup quarterfinals after winning the doubles match and taking a 2-1 lead Saturday in a world group first round tie against hosts Canada.

Frenchmen Michael Llondra and Julien Benneteau beat Canada's Daniel Nestor and Milos Raonic 7-6 (1), 7-6 (2), 6-3 in a two-hour, 37-minute match at the Doug Mitchell Thunderbird Sports Centre.

Martin Laurendeau, captain of the 14th ranked Canadian team, made a Saturday morning substitution, replacing the 21-year-old Vasek Pospisil with the 21-year-old Raonic.

Pospisil lost 1-6, 3-6, 3-6 in straight sets in Friday's opening match to Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, the world No. 6 singles player in the world and Laurendeau hoped to seize the momentum from Raonic's 6-2, 6-4, 7-5 Friday win over Benneteau.

"We thought about that yesterday, that Canada could change their team and for us it didn't change nothing," said Benneteau, 30, who is ranked 55th in doubles and 35th in singles. "We just had to have the good spirit on the court, the good behavior, even if it was Milos on the court with his big serve."

Canada had 47 forced errors and 28 unforced errors. France was 82 percent on first serve points, 60 percent on second serve and scored two break points, both in the decisive, 34-minute third set. The French also led Canada 14-6 in aces and dominated the first and second-set tiebreakers.

"Today the two tiebreakers we were playing so well, good serve, good volley, good return," Llodra said. "We have to play very solid, if we have one chance we have to take it."

Nestor, a 39-year-old left-hander who won Olympic doubles gold at Sydney 2000, blamed Canada's inconsistent execution.

"We both could've returned a little better and we both could've put more first serves in. They were just hitting the ball better," Nestor said."I don't think they played outstanding as a team. They were just making a lot of shots and hitting the ball well and, for whatever reason, we weren't as sharp as they were."

Raonic is scheduled to face Tsonga in the crucial fourth match on Sunday, while Pospisil is to meet Benneteau.

The first-round tie, on a temporary rubber surface inside the University of British Columbia hockey arena, built for the 2010 Winter Olympics ends Sunday with reverse singl The winner will face the United States, which overwhelmed Switzerland 3-0 after the doubles match earlier Saturday.

Losers of the eight first-round match-ups will be relegated to the world group playoffs Sept. 14-16.

Canada's best result in the Davis Cup was 99 years ago when they lost to the United States in the final. The tie in Vancouver is the first here since 1992, when Canada hosted Sweden in February and Austria in September.

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