Photo: Antoine CouvercelleTeam France
Richard Gasquet and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga returned to the court on day two of their Davis Cup by BNP Paribas World Group first round tie against Australia to complete the job that they began yesterday and book a place in April’s quarterfinals with a 57 76(4) 62 75 victory over Chris Guccione and Lleyton Hewitt.
The Australian pairing were going into the match unbeaten and with the knowledge they would need to keep that streak alive to keep their slim hopes of a victory going into Sunday. They appeared to be doing just that when they came back from losing the first three games to take the opening set.
Captain Arnaud Clement’s decision to put in his two singles players from Friday paid off, however, as they won a tight second set and never looked back. In a carnival atmosphere the hosts polished off their dogged opponents with a break in the final game of the match and move into an unassailable 3-0 lead.
They will face Germany at home in the next round after Tommy Haas and Philipp Kohlschreiber defeated ATP World Tour Finals champions Fernando Verdasco and David Marrero to clinch victory and send Spain into the World Group play-offs for a second consecutive year.
It was Carlos Moya’s first tie in charge of the five-time title winning Spanish side and after Kohlschreiber had comprehensively beaten Roberto Bautista Agut in the opening rubber and then Florian Mayer doubled the lead with a thrilling victory over Feliciano Lopez the writing seemed to be on the wall.
Both sides had chances in the doubles rubber as the first three sets went the distance prior to the German’s pressing home their advantage in the fourth to give a 76(5) 67(9) 76(7) 63 triumph.
The other side to book their place in the quarterfinals were Switzerland who resisted the urge to bring in Stanislas Wawrinak or Roger Federer into their doubles team and allowed Marco Chuidinelli and Michael Lammer take the glory of scoring the third point against Serbia.
The Swiss will face either Kazakhstan or Belgium in the next round, the latter keeping their hopes intact with victory in the doubles having gone into the day with a 2-0 deficit.
Czech Republic, Japan and Italy all moved within a point of victory having been level going into the day. Tomas Berdych and Radek Stepanek won their 15th doubles rubber together for the defending champions whilst Fabio Fognini and Simone Bolelli won out in a marathon four set match against Eduardo Schwank and Horacio Zeballos 67(6) 76(8) 76(3) 64 in just under four hours in Mar del Plata.
The Bryan brothers ended a run of two straight losses in Davis Cup as the legendary American pairing defeated Dominic Inglot and Colin Fleming, 62 63 36 61 to half the British lead at Petco Park with world No. 6 Andy Murray set to face Sam Querrey in the first rubber on Sunday.
You can view the full draw stories for this weekend’s ties by clicking the relevant tie below:
World Group first round
Czech Republic 3-0 Netherlands
Japan 2-1 Canada
Germany 3-0 Spain
France 3-0 Australia
USA 1-2 Great Britain
Argentina 1-1 Italy
Kazakhstan 2-1 Belgium
Serbia 0-3 Switzerland