Davis Cup: France Through To The Quarterfinals

France are comfortably through to the quarterfinals of the Davis Cup World Group after Richard Gasquet and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga defeated Canada's Philip Bester and Vasek Pospisil 7-6(4), 6-1, 7-6(4) to make it 3-0 in the tie after Gael Monfils and Gilles Simon gave France the lead on day one.

France wins the first set on tiebreaker

With France one step closer to booking their place in the quarterfinals, Gasquet and Tsonga teamed up to try and get the job done against Bester and Pospisil. In the first game, the French were put under pressure as the Canadians took their chances and broke, but the French pair broke immediately back. A couple of games later at 4-4, the Canadian pair were being put under all kinds of pressure under the heat being pushed to deuce, but the pair survived and held their own. In the next service game, Tsonga struggled on his serve gifting the Canadians a chance to clinch the first set, but the French managed to fight back from 40-15 to level the set at 5-5. Both teams then held serve to send the opener into a tiebreaker. With the French crowd in full voice, Gasquet and Tsonga took the tiebreaker 7-4, with the mini-break coming at 4-3, when Gasquet hit a backhand winner down the line.

The French pair won 67 percent of points on first serve, 50 percent on second serve, had 8 unforced errors and 15 total winners, while the Canadian pair of Bester and Pospisil won 67 percent on first serves and struggled immensely on their second winning only 36 percent of points. They finished the set with 17 winners and 13 unforced errors. 

French cruise to win the second set 

Having won the second set, the French pair of Gasquet and Tsonga started the second set in fine form. They started the set by breaking the Bester serve to love to give them a 2-0 lead. With France in control of the match, Bester and Pospisil had rare break point opportunities at 15-40, but the French rallied and saved a number of break points to give themselves a 3-0 lead. In the next service game, the less experienced Bester held to put Canada on the scoreboard in the second set. After 20 minutes the inexperience of the Canadian pair were showing as they were broken having led 30-0 on the Bester serve. The French then went on to seal the second set 6-1 in 30 minutes.

The dominance of the French pair was shown in the statistics. Gasquet and Tsonga won 79 percent of points on their first serve and 67 percent of second serves, while the Canadians struggled only winning 44 percent points on first serve and 33 on second serve. The French pair had 4 unforced errors and 12 winners in total to Canada's 5 unforced errors and only 2 winners. 

France book their spot in the quarterfinals on a tiebreaker

The third set opened with four straights holds as the set moved to 2-2. At 2-3 in the set, Bester and Pospisil had break point chances as they moved into a 0-40 lead on the Tsonga serve. Gasquet got Tsonga out of trouble as he returned a Pospisil shot down the middle to level the set at 3-3. Both pairs then held their next service game for 4-4. The French team had chances to break the Canadians as Tsonga hit a strong backhand winner down the line. Pospisil fought back from 40-love to edge Canada back in front as Bester hit a winner at the net. With both teams holding, the set went the same way as the first: to a tiebreaker. At 2-2 in the tiebreak, Gasquet returned a poor Pospisil serve to give the French a mini-break and they consolidated by holding serve. At 5-4 in the breaker, Gasquet and Pospisil exchanged shots with Gasquet coming out on top smashing a backhand winner at the net to give the French match point and a chance to seal the tie. On match point, Tsonga served it out and put the French into the quarterfinals after a straight sets win. The crowd were vital in getting France over the line during the tiebreaker. 

The French served consistently winning 84 percent of points on the first set and 60 percent on the second serve. They had 12 unforced errors and only 9 winners. The Canadians won 73 percent on first serve and 67 on second. They hit 13 winners and had 12 unforced errors. 

Vasek Pospisil and Philip Bester speak during their first round loss in the Davis Cup (Photo:Miguel Medina/Getty Images)
Vasek Pospisil and Philip Bester speak during their first round loss in the Davis Cup (Photo: Miguel Medina/Getty Images)

Final Match Statistics

The French had success on first serve winning 80 percent of points, while on the second serve they won 57 percent. France had 24 unforced errors and hit 36 winners in total. They also won 49 percent points at the net, meanwhile the Canadians won 66 percent points on first serve, 90 percent on second serve, had 30 unforced errors and hit 32 winners. They won 47 percent of points at the net.