Davis Cup: Richard Gasquet, Pierre-Hugues Herbert hand France 2-1 lead over Belgium in final

France captain Yannick Noah's gamble in pairing Richard Gasquet and Pierre-Hugues Herbert together for the first time paid off on Saturday as the duo gave France a 2-1 lead over Belgium in the Davis Cup final.

AFP November 26, 2017 00:46:53 IST
Davis Cup: Richard Gasquet, Pierre-Hugues Herbert hand France 2-1 lead over Belgium in final

Lille: France captain Yannick Noah's gamble in pairing Richard Gasquet and Pierre-Hugues Herbert together for the first time paid off on Saturday as the duo gave France a 2-1 lead over Belgium in the Davis Cup final.

Davis Cup Richard Gasquet PierreHugues Herbert hand France 21 lead over Belgium in final

France's Richard Gasquet and Pierre-Hugues Herbert celebrate their victory. AFP

Gasquet and Herbert defeated Ruben Bemelmans and Joris de Loore 6-1, 3-6, 7-6 (7/2), 6-4 to leave the hosts requiring just one point from Sunday's closing two singles.

Belgium's hopes of claiming the first title in the venerable competition now rest with their in-form number one David Goffin denying Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in Sunday's opening singles.

If Goffin keeps the tie alive it will then go down to the fifth and closing rubber between Lucas Pouille and Belgium's Davis Cup specialist Steve Darcis.

Pouille lost Friday's opening match to world number seven Goffin before Tsonga levelled the match with a comprehensive defeat of Darcis.

Gasquet and Herbert put France, seeking their first title since 2001, in pole position after a gruelling three hours and three minutes on court at Lille's Stade Pierre-Mauroy in front of a deafening 25,000 crowd.

Gasquet and Herbert reeled off the first set in half an hour, before a lacklustre service from Herbert put Belgium 3-1 up in the second set.

Bemelmans, ranked 118th in the world, and the 276th-ranked De Loore duly levelled the encounter, before taking a 4-3 lead in the third set when breaking Gasquet's serve after De Loore drilled a forehand at Herbert's head, leaving him dazed.

But lifted by their home fans Gasquet and Herbert powered back, aided by Bemelmans' loss of form, to take that on a tiebreak before getting the all-important break in the fourth set for a potentially decisive win.

Updated Date:

also read

Euro 2020: Kevin De Bruyne undergoes small operation on face, to join Belgium on Monday
Sports

Euro 2020: Kevin De Bruyne undergoes small operation on face, to join Belgium on Monday

The Manchester City playmaker suffered fractures to his nose and left eye socket after a collision with Chelsea's Antonio Rudiger in the Champions League final a week ago.

Euro 2020 warm-ups: England booed by fans before beating Romania; Belgium, Netherlands also win
Sports

Euro 2020 warm-ups: England booed by fans before beating Romania; Belgium, Netherlands also win

Among other routine wins for Euro 2020 teams, the Netherlands beat Georgia 3-0 with Wout Weghorst and Ryan Gravenberch, a teenage midfielder from Ajax, getting their first international goals.

Euro 2020: Romelu Lukaku’s strike helps Belgium beat Croatia in warm up match; Netherlands hand Georgia 3-0 loss
Sports

Euro 2020: Romelu Lukaku’s strike helps Belgium beat Croatia in warm up match; Netherlands hand Georgia 3-0 loss

Belgium, the world's top-ranked side, beat the 2018 World Cup runners up 1-0 thanks to a first half goal from in-form Romelu Lukaku, fresh from winning the Serie A title with Inter Milan.