Switzerland on the brink of Davis Cup glory after doubles win

Sat Nov 22, 2014 1:16pm EST
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By Julien Pretot

LILLE France (Reuters) - Switzerland made a big step toward a maiden Davis Cup title when they took a 2-1 lead in the final against hosts France with Roger Federer and Stan Wawrinka's 6-3 7-5 6-4 win in the doubles against Richard Gasquet and Julien Benneteau on Saturday.

Federer, who looked in good shape after struggling with back problems this week, will have the opportunity to claim the winning point in Sunday's first reverse singles against Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.

Wawrinka gave Switzerland the first point by beating Tsonga 6-1 3-6 6-3 6-2 and Gael Monfils leveled when he thrashed Federer 6-1 6-4 6-3 on Friday on the Pierre Mauroy stadium's clay.

France, who last triumphed in 2001, are looking to win the Davis Cup for the 10th time but after Saturday's doubles the task seems almost impossible as world number four Wawrinka has been playing at his best and Federer is getting better.

Switzerland captain Severin Luthi had initially selected Marco Chiudinelli and Michael Lammer but unsurprisingly changed his lineup.

"We wanted the best team on court and obviously the best team was with Roger and Stan," said Luthi.

Federer seemed much more at ease as he knew he could also rely on the in-form Wawrinka.

"Stan has been unbelievably supportive, Severin and the coaching staff did a really good job. Now I'm gonna rest and recover," said Federer.   Continued...

Switzerland's Roger Federer (L) celebrates with his team mate Stanislas Wawrinka after they defeated France's Julien Benneteau and Richard Gasquet during their Davis Cup final doubles tennis match at the Pierre-Mauroy stadium in Villeneuve d'Ascq, near Lille, November 22, 2014. REUTERS/Pascal Rossignol