Mahut, Her­bert put France ahead in Davis Cup semi

Stabroek News Sunday - - SUNDAY SPORT -

LILLE, France, (Reuters) - Hosts France took a 2-1 lead over Ser­bia in their Davis Cup semi-fi­nal when Pierre-Hugues Her­bert and Ni­co­las Mahut beat Filip Kra­ji­novic and Ne­nad Zi­mon­jic 6-1 6-2 76(3) in the dou­bles yes­ter­day.

Her­bert and Mahut, who have won two grand slam dou­bles ti­tles to­gether, lost only two points on serve in the first set and were barely trou­bled in a one-sided match on in­door clay at Pierre Mau­roy sta­dium.

They did lose their fo­cus in the third set after open­ing up a 5-2 lead, but played a near per­fect tiebreak to seal the win on their first match point.

“I will never for­get it. I had never ex­pe­ri­enced so many emo­tions in my ca­reer,” Mahut said.

Ser­bia took the first point in the tie when Du­san La­jovic beat Lu­cas Pouille in four sets be­fore Jo-Wil­fried Tsonga lev­elled it up by beat­ing Laslo Djere in straight sets.

Tsonga is set to face La­jovic in a po­ten­tially de­ci­sive re­verse sin­gles to­day.

Bel­gium are host­ing Aus­tralia in the other semi-fi­nal.

France are bid­ding to win the Davis Cup for the first time since 2001. They have reached three fi­nals since, the most re­cent in 2014 against Switzer­land.

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