Classy France into Davis Cup fi­nal

Manila Times - - Sports -

PARIS: France cap­tain Yan­nick Noah said he “de­served a beer” to cel­e­brate his de­fend­ing Davis Cup cham­pi­ons’ seam­less progress past Spain and into their sec (Sun­day in Manila).

Who France will face in Novem­ber will be de­ter­mined on Sun­day, with the United States win­ning their dou­bles against Croa­tia to trail 2-1 ahead of the clos­ing two rub­bers in the other

Vet­eran duo Julien Ben­neteau and Ni­co­las Mahut se­cured France’s de­ci­sive win, beat­ing Feli­ciano Lopez and Mar­cel Gra­nollers 6-0, 6-4, 7-6 (9/7).

That gave the French an unas­sail­able 3-0 lead, mak­ing Sun­day’s two re­verse sin­gles aca­demic.

“This is the best ten­nis I’ve seen from my team in three years,” beamed 1983 French Open win­ner Noah.

“I didn’t have a beer for a week -- I de­serve my beer!”

Noah was full of praise for his vic­to­ri­ous dou­bles duo.

“The way my guys played to­day - they were so good,” said Noah.

“Ben­neteau was prob­a­bly the best player on the court and his at­ti­tude was un­be­liev­able.”

Ben­neteau had come out of re­tire­ment to serve his coun­try on the hard­court in Lille.

“It’s quite pos­si­ble it could be the last match of my ca­reer on tour,” Ben­neteau said. But there seems ev­ery chance - max to a com­pe­ti­tion that from next year be­comes the Ten­nis World Cup.

Some fans in Lille wore black t-shirts as a form of ‘mourn­ing’ at the pass­ing of the Davis Cup in its present for­mat.

A large ban­ner was un­furled read­ing “Change it Back”.

France were left in com­mand of the tie af­ter wins in both of Fri­day’s open­ing sin­gles.

Davis Cup rookie Benoit Paire gave the 10- time win­ners the per­fect start with a 7-5, 6-1, 6-0 de­feat of Pablo Car­reno Busta.

Then Lu­cas Pouille’s nerve-

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