France and Switzerland celebrate 3-0 leads, Serbia dumped

Sat Feb 1, 2014 5:37pm EST
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By Pritha Sarkar

(Reuters) - Richard Gasquet and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga's unexpected partnership in the doubles allowed France to gain an unbeatable 3-0 lead over Australia on Saturday and join Switzerland and Germany in the quarter-finals of the Davis Cup.

France captain Arnaud Clement sprung a surprise when he picked Gasquet and Tsonga ahead of doubles specialist Julien Benneteau for the third rubber but the gamble paid off as the French duo beat Lleyton Hewitt and Chris Guccione 5-7 7-6(4) 6-2 7-5.

"It's a fantastic feeling; they played unbelievable all weekend. I'm very proud," Clement told reporters.

The result allowed France to wrap up the World Group first round tie with a day to spare and they will face Germany in the last eight in April after Tommy Haas and Philipp Kohlschreiber edged past Spaniards Fernando Verdasco and David Marrero 7-6(5) 6-7(9) 7-6(7) 6-3 in the doubles to go 3-0 up.

Spain paid the price for turning up in Frankfurt without world number one Rafa Nadal and David Ferrer and it was a similar story in Novi Sad, where a second-string Serbian team were swept aside 3-0 by Switzerland.

A day after putting Switzerland 2-0 ahead, a cheering Roger Federer and Stanislas Wawrinka leapt to their feet in celebration as Marco Chiudinelli and Michael Lammer beat Filip Krajinovic and Nenad Zimonjic 7-6(3) 3-6 7-6(2) 6-2.

The result put Switzerland into the last eight for the first time in 10 years.

"It's a dream outcome for us to win the tie on Saturday evening and we hope to have Roger Federer and Stanislas Wawrinka with us for the rest of the Davis Cup season," Swiss team captain Severin Luthi told a news conference.   Continued...

French players Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (R) and Richard Gasquet celebrate after defeating Australian players Lleyton Hewitt and Chris Guccione during their Davis Cup world group first round tennis doubles match in Mouilleron-Le-Captif, Western France, February 1, 2014. REUTERS/Stephane Mahe