Davis Cup | Tennis

France takes a 2-1 lead

Gritty: Australia’s Nick Kyrgios fired 34 aces and 41 winners during his win over Belgium’s Steve Darcis in the second rubber on Friday.

Gritty: Australia’s Nick Kyrgios fired 34 aces and 41 winners during his win over Belgium’s Steve Darcis in the second rubber on Friday.  

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Australian surges ahead of Belgium

Nicolas Mahut and Pierre-Hugues Herbert defeated Filip Krajinovic and Nenad Zimonjic 6-1, 6-2, 7-6(3) to give France a 2-1 lead over Serbia in the Davis Cup semifinals here on Saturday.

Apart from a scare in the third set when the Serbian pair won four games in a row, Mahut and Herbert were in control on the indoor clay court and put France one win away from its 18th Davis Cup final.

Friday’s singles rubbers were played on outdoor clay but organisers decided to close the roof at the Pierre Mauroy stadium here because of forecasts of bad weather.

At Brussels, Australia edged closer to a first Davis Cup final in 14 years on Saturday when Jordan Thompson and John Peers swept past Arthur De Greef and Ruben Bemelmans 6-3, 6-4, 6-0 for a 2-1 lead.

Nick Kyrgios can wrap up the tie for Australia on Sunday when he takes on fellow national No. 1 David Goffin in the first of the reverse singles. Kyrgios defeated Steve Darcis 6-3, 3-6, 6-7 (5/7), 6-1, 6-2 on Friday while Goffin saw off John Millman 6-7 (4/7), 6-4, 6-3, 7-5. Kyrgios came back from two sets to one down to defeat the 33-year-old Steve Darcis in three hours and 36 minutes on the clay courts of Brussels’ Palais 12 arena.

The results (semifinals):

At Lille: France 2 Serbia 1 [Lucas Pouille lost to Dusan Lajovic 6-1, 3-6, 7-6(9), 7-6(5), 6-1, 3-6, 7-6(7), 7-6(5); Jo-Wilfried Tsonga bt Laslo Djere 7-6(2), 6-3, 6-3; Nicolas Mahut & Pierre-Hugues Herbert bt Nenad Zimonjic & Filip Krajinovic 6-1, 6-2, 7-6(3)].

At Brussels: Belgium 1 Australia 2 [Arthur De Greef & Ruben Bemelmans lost to Jordan Thompson & John Peers 3-6, 4-6, 0-6; David Goffin bt John Millman 6-7(4), 6-4, 6-3, 7-5; Steve Darcis lost to Nick Kyrgios 3-6, 6-3, 7-6 (5), 1-6, 2-6.

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Printable version | Jan 21, 2020 1:40:30 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/tennis/france-takes-a-2-1-lead/article19700302.ece

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