France keeps Davis Cup title hopes alive with doubles win over Croatia


Lille (France): France cut Croatia’s lead to 2-1 in the final of the Davis Cup, tennis’ premier international team competition, with a four-set victory in doubles.

The French duo of Nicolas Mahut and Pierre-Hugues Herbert kept the tie going with their 6-4, 6-4, 3-6, 7-6 (7-3) victory over the Croatian pair of Mate Pavic and Ivan Dodig in three hours and 38 minutes on Saturday evening.

The match was extremely close, with the French team winning 143 overall points to 139 for the Croatians. A slightly better conversion rate of break points – 3/11 (27 percent) to 2/9 (22 percent) – gave the host team the edge, reports Efe news.

Croatia had grabbed a 2-0 lead on Friday at Stade Pierre Mauroy, an indoor clay-court venue, when seventh-ranked Marin Cilic defeated Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 6-3, 7-5, 6-4 in the second singles match.

Earlier that day, 12th-ranked Borna Coric kicked off the tie by defeating Jeremy Chardy 6-2, 7-5, 6-4.