Davis Cup: France claim doubles to move within one win of 2017 title
France captain Yannick Noah gambled on an untested pair for the pivotal Davis Cup closing doubles towards Belgium on Saturday however Richard Gasquet and Pierre-Hugues Herbert’s win ensured he was spared a “hot seat” as Les Bleus moved into the driving seat.
Despite an enormous scare within the third set, Noah’s chosen duo beat Ruben Bemelmans and Joris De Loore 6-1 Three-6 7-6(2) 6-Four as France moved 2-1 forward and within one win of a 10th Davis Cup title earlier than Sunday’s reverse singles.
Noah had been anticipated to decide both Julien Benneteau or Nicolas Mahut, with whom Herbert received two grand slam titles, however he surprisingly went for Gasquet as an alternative, thus placing out a mixture who had by no means performed a aggressive match collectively.
“It was a difficult decision because a lot of people did not have the same vision and even people within the group did not have the same vision,” he stated.
Noah, nevertheless, caught together with his alternative, which he made on Tuesday after Herbert and Gasquet confirmed nice type at a coaching camp.
“It would have been much easier to make the politically correct decision and lose with honours,” he stated. “Personally, it’s good for me that they won because otherwise I would have been on a hot seat,” he added with a smile. We knew we might have to be stable mentally,” said Gasquet. “We knew that we had every little thing to lose.”
Noah defined that Gasquet had been included within the crew to exchange Jo-Wilfried Tsonga or Lucas Pouille within the singles in case of harm.
“This was a factor because I don’t think either of our three doubles specialists (Herbert, Benneteau and Mahut) would have been able to play a best-of-five set Davis Cup match on a Sunday,” he stated.
Belgium captain Johan Van Herck defended his choice after deciding not to make room within the pair for the in-form Goffin.
“A doubles is about who can play well with who and my feeling was that Ruben and Joris were the best pair for us today,” he stated.
France will win the title earlier than the fifth match if Tsonga beats world quantity seven David Goffin after each impressed throughout their singles wins on Friday.
“He has been thinking about this match for a while now and when he thinks about it, he sees himself winning it,” stated Noah. “He is ready.”