France edge ahead of Belgium 2-1 in Davis Cup final
By Sky Sports Tennis
Last Updated: 25/11/17 8:03pm
France claimed victory over Belgium in Saturday’s doubles rubber to move within one victory of a 10th Davis Cup title.
Richard Gasquet and Pierre-Hugues Herbert beat Ruben Bemelmans and Joris De Loore 6-1 3-6 7-6 6-4 at the Pierre Mauroy Stadium in Lille to give the hosts a 2-1 lead in the final ahead of Sunday's reverse singles matches.
The French pair, playing competitively together for the first time, found themselves a break down in the third set when Gasquet lost his serve but Bemelmans was unable to serve out the set and the hosts dug deep to secure the tie-break.
The seventh game of the fourth set proved pivotal as France broke Bemelmans, with Herbert eventually served out the match.
If Jo-Wilfried Tsonga defeats David Goffin in the first singles match on Sunday then France will win the Davis Cup for the first time since 2001 with a match to spare.
"It was a difficult decision because a lot of people did not have the same vision and even people within the group did not have the same vision," France captain Noah - who has already led his country to Davis Cup titles in 1991 and 1996 - said of the decision to partner Gasquet and Herbert together for the doubles rubber.
The season-ending extravaganza ATP Finals at London's O2 capped another memorable year which we have covered on www.skysports.com/tennis with live blogs, reports and expert analysis. See you in 2018 when we return for the Australian Open.
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