France downs Australia to reach Davis Cup quarters


The Sports Network

La Roche sur Yon, France ( - Richard Gasquet and Jo- Wilfried Tsonga were Saturday's winning doubles team, as France secured an insurmountable 3-0 lead over Australia in their best-of-five opening-round Davis Cup tie.

The powerful French team will next battle Germany in the quarterfinals in April.

Gasquet and Tsonga, who were also Friday's opening singles winners in La Roche sur Yon, overcame a game Aussie doubles tandem of Lleyton Hewitt and Chris Guccione, 5-7, 7-6 (7-4), 6-2, 7-5, on Day 2.

Friday's singles rubbers saw the world No. 9 Gasquet ground promising 18-year- old Aussie Nick Kyrgios 7-6 (7-3), 6-2, 6-2 and the 10th-ranked Tsonga tackle the 32-year-old former world No. 1 star Hewitt 6-3, 6-2, 7-6 (7-2) on the indoor red clay at Vendespace.

Team France is captained by Arnaud Clement, while former No. 1 Patrick Rafter guides the underdog Aussies.

Australia is now 10-5 all-time versus France, with the French also winning their last meeting in the 2001 World Group final in Melbourne. They first met way back in 1922.

The Aussies are 28-time champions, while the French have captured the Davis Cup on nine occasions.

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