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.
Yannick Noah inspires France to dramatic doubles victory. New daily— The Tennis Podcast (@TennisPodcast) November 25, 2017
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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.