Gasquet on fire again as France reach Davis Cup final

Sat Sep 13, 2014 1:54pm EDT
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By Julien Pretot

PARIS (Reuters) - Richard Gasquet and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga fired France into the Davis Cup final for the first time since 2010 on Saturday when they secured a 3-0 lead against holders Czech Republic thanks to some fine selections by captain Arnaud Clement.

After dropping the first set the French duo beat Tomas Berdych and Radek Stepanek 6-7(4) 6-4 7-6(5) 6-1 to earn victory with a day to spare at Roland Garros.

Les Bleus will face either Switzerland at home or Italy away in the Nov. 21-23 final. Switzerland lead 2-1 in Geneva.

Gasquet gave France the first point on Friday by crushing Berdych before Tsonga doubled the tally also with a straight-sets victory over Lukas Rosol.

Clement made a switch, electing to pair Tsonga and Gasquet rather than Gael Monfils and Julien Benneteau, and it worked a treat after he also decided to field Gasquet rather than U.S. Open quarter-finalist Gael Monfils in the singles.

"All the players were in great condition, I am actually happy I had to make those choices," Clement told a news conference.

World number six Berdych, who looked well below par on Friday, was not much better in the doubles and was the weak link in the Czech pair.

To make matters worse, Stepanek picked up a back injury and could not even sit at the post-match news conference.   Continued...

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (top L) and Richard Gasquet of France react during their Davis Cup semi-final doubles tennis match against Tomas Berdych and Radek Stepanek of the Czech Republic at the Roland Garros stadium in Paris September 13, 2014.  REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes