Tennis / Davis Cup / France Passes Israel

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ROUEN, France − France beat Israel 7-6 ‏(7-3‏), 6-1, 6-0 in doubles yesterday for an insurmountable 3-0 lead in the Davis Cup first-round match and a place in the quarterfinals
After Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Richard Gasquet won their singles on Friday, Julien Benneteau and Michael Llodra had little trouble brushing aside Israel’s makeshift pairing of Yoni Erlich and Dudi Sela after a competitive first set.

The only danger for France came when Benneteau swiped a forehand from the back of the court that just missed Llodra’s head before landing in to give France its first match point. Benneteau missed an easy smash at the net but Llodra’s ace on the next point sealed victory.

France captain Arnaud Clement may now change his lineup for today’s singles.

A backhand winner down the line and a smash from Llodra gave France a 2-0 lead in the first-set tiebreaker, and the French moved 5-2 up with two aces from Benneteau. The match became easier for the French as the Israeli pair struggled on serve.

In the fourth game of the second set, Erlich double-faulted to give France its first break of serve and a 3-1 lead. Erlich lost his serve again at the start of the third set, and Benneteau’s aggressive strokeplay helped secure yet another break as France raced 3-0 ahead and took complete control.

Sela, right, and Erlich listening to team coach Eyal Ran’s advice.Credit: AP

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