Reuters - Sun, 07 Mar 08:52:00 2010
Doubles specialists Michael Llodra and Julien Benneteau combined to fire France into the quarter-finals of the Davis Cup with a battling four-set win over Germany's Philipp Kohlschreiber and Christopher Kas in Toulon.
The victory gave the nine-times winners an unbeatable 3-0 lead in the best-of-five tie and set up a last-eight clash against champions Spain in July.
French captain Guy Forget was pleased with the first Davis Cup outing for Llodra and Benneteau, who survived a third-set wobble to come through 6-1 6-4 1-6 7-5.
"I'm very satisfied with the way they started the match," Forget said.
"They were a bit shaky in the third set but they came back together in the fourth. We knew it would be a close doubles but we wanted to win at home."
Last year's finalists Czech Republic and 2005 winners Croatia also went through to the quarters on Saturday.
"It wasn't one-way traffic in the doubles, it was as tough as we expected it to be, and we are overjoyed to have secured a berth in the last eight," said Cilic.
The Czechs will next play Chile or Israel, whose tie was rescheduled to start on Saturday because of the disruption caused by last weekend's earthquake in the centre and south of the country that claimed hundreds of lives.
"When (the crowd) shouted 'Do it for the people down south', I had trouble concentrating. If I'd lost today, I'm not sure if I would have been able to pick myself up," Massu said.
Troubled by a problem in his right leg during the match, the world number 10 said it might be better if he missed the doubles on Sunday and rested for his reverse singles on Monday.
Croatia will face neighbours Serbia.