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France lead in Davis Cup Final

France captain Yannick Noah gambled on an untested pair for the pivotal Davis Cup final doubles against Belgium on Saturday

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France lead in Davis Cup Final

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France captain Yannick Noah gambled on an untested pair for the pivotal Davis Cup final doubles against Belgium on Saturday but Richard Gasquet and Pierre-Hugues Herbert’s win ensured he was spared a “hot seat” as Les Bleus moved into the driving seat.

Despite a big scare in the third set, Noah’s chosen duo beat Ruben Bemelmans and Joris De Loore 6-1 3-6 7-6(2) 6-4 as France moved 2-1 ahead and within one win of a 10th Davis Cup title before Sunday’s reverse singles.


Noah had been expected to pick either Julien Benneteau or Nicolas Mahut, with whom Herbert won two grand slam titles, but he surprisingly went for Gasquet instead, thus putting out a combination who had never played a competitive match together.

France will win the title before the fifth match if Jo-Wilfried Tsonga beats world number seven David Goffin after both impressed during their singles wins on Friday.