June 19, 2018

Australia and France gain advantages in Davis Cup semi-finals

17 September 2017, 07:09 | Devin Moran

Nine-time winners France face Serbia in the semi-finals of the Davis Cup this weekend in Lille

Nine-time winners France face Serbia in the semi-finals of the Davis Cup this weekend in Lille

A single break in the first and second set proved enough for the Australia pair to take a 2-0 lead, and it rattled off seven straight games to put Lleyton Hewitt's team within touching distance of the showpiece.

Belgium's David Goffin, the world number 12, will face the unpredictable world number 20 Nick Kyrgios on Sunday, while Australian John Millman, ranked 185, will take on Steve Darcis, 77.

And as expected Two-time Grand Slam doubles winners Pierre-Hugues Herbert and Nicolas Mahut needed just under two hours to blitz Filip Krajinovic and Nenad Zimonjic - a 6-1 6-2 7-6 victory moved France to the brink of a fourth final since they last won the Davis Cup.

Noah's team are favoured to progress to the final against a Serbian side sorely missing injured former World No 1 and 12-time Grand Slam victor Novak Djokovic, Viktor Troicki and Janko Tipsarevic. The Frenchman never found the right tempo, made wrong tactical choices, and hit a total of 70 unforced errors.

France and Australia claimed the doubles rubbers on Saturday to stand on the brink of a return to the Davis Cup final.

Australia, a 28-time champion, is chasing a spot in the final for the first time since it won the title in 2003, while Belgium is trying to reach the final for only the third time.

Mahut had been battling a calf injury, and thanked the medical staff for getting him ready to play. "To give one point to your country is the best feeling you can have". "It's always important in Davis Cup".

"We are sufficiently intelligent to know that it's going to be a hard match", the 1983 French Open victor said.

Pouille was impatient too often, trying to shorten the points instead of making his opponent run.

Both ties conclude tomorrow with the reverse singles matches.

Mahut and Herbert put in a dominant performance for France winning 6-1, 6-2, 7-6 at the Pierre Mauroy Stadium, with the match played under a closed roof due to a poor weather forecast.

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