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France, United States secure Davis Cup Finals spots

March 06, 2022 10:26 IST
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Jack Sock and Rajeev Ram

IMAGE: Jack Sock and Rajeev Ram beat Colombia's Juan-Sebastian Cabal and Nicolas Barrientos in the doubles clash to give the US a 3-0 win in their best-of-five qualifier in Reno, Nevada. Photograph: Massimo Pinca/Reuters

France and the United States breezed into the Davis Cup Finals with dominant wins on Saturday, while Spain survived an attempted comeback from Romania to win their qualifying tie.

France, who were 2-0 up courtesy of Arthur Rinderknech and Adrian Mannarino, faced little resistance from Ecuador as wins for Benjamin Bonzi and the doubles pair of Pierre-Hugues Herbert and Nicholas Mahut secured victory for the 10-times champions.

 

"It's never easy to play a team where you're the favourite, but we respected our opponents a lot and that's why we managed to win," Herbert said.

In their home tie in Reno, Nevada, Jack Sock and Rajeev Ram beat Colombia's Juan-Sebastian Cabal and Nicolas Barrientos 6-3, 6-4 in their doubles clash to give the US a 3-0 win in their best-of-five qualifier.

"I thought we came out with a ton of energy, thought we gelled really well," Sock told a news conference. "We got up early in each set which definitely helps a lot. The 4-all, 5-all games would have been stressful."

Roberto Bautista Agut won his second singles rubber to help Spain, who are without 21-times major winner Rafael Nadal, clinch their tie against Romania and seal a place in the Finals.

Romania, who were trailing 2-0 after two defeats on the opening day, gave themselves a glimmer of hope when doubles pair Marius Copil and Horia Tecau won to make it 2-1.

However, world number 261 Copil was unable to replicate his doubles success in his singles match with Bautista Agut, losing 6-2, 6-3 in an hour 28 minutes to relinquish the tie.

"I think it was a great day. Marius played some really good points, he was mixing up the game, he was playing aggressive, he was serving well," Bautista Agut said.

World number three Alexander Zverev eased past Brazil's Thiago Monteiro 6-1, 7-5 to secure qualification for Germany, while 163rd-ranked Zizou Bergs beat Finland's Otto Virtanen in straight sets to earn Belgium a hard-fought 3-2 victory.

The Netherlands and Argentina also booked their places in the Finals with comfortable 4-0 wins over Canada and the Czech Republic respectively in their home ties.

Elsewhere, Italy fended off Slovakia to win 3-2, Sweden beat Japan and Kazakhstan got the better of Norway as Alexander Bublik defeated world number eight Casper Ruud 6-4, 5-7, 6-4.

Earlier on Saturday, Thanasi Kokkinakis won a deciding singles rubber as Australia edged past Hungary, while South Korea rode on a couple of impressive performances from Kwon Soon-woo to beat Austria.

The 12 winning teams will join Croatia, who secured automatic qualification for the 2022 Finals as last year's finalists, and wild cards Serbia and Britain.

Russia's title defence is uncertain after governing body International Tennis Federation (ITF) suspended the memberships of Russia and Belarus and withdrew their entries from team competitions following the invasion of Ukraine.

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Source: REUTERS
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