France into Davis Cup semis after doubles win vs. Britain

Great Britain fail to win a single set on the opening day of a Davis Cup tie for the first time in nine years, as both Kyle Edmund and Dan Evans lose in three sets.

Benneteau and Mahut defeated Dom Inglot and Jamie Murray of Great Britain in a contested battle 7-6 (7) 5-7 7-5 7-5.

The meaningful action concluded after victory for Julien Benneteau and Nicolas Mahut in the doubles added to singles wins for Lucas Pouille and Jeremy Chardy but the rules required the dead rubbers to be played.

Belgium, Serbia and Australia look the favourites to join them, with the three nations leading Italy, Spain and the US respectively at the time of writing. Murray and Inglot led by a break at 4-2 but a fluffed Inglot volley allowed the French to level and Murray then served the team's first double fault of the match on set point.

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Yannick Noah, headcoach of France reacts during his Davis Cup quarterfinal tennis match between France and Britain at the Kindarena Stadium of Rouen, France, Friday, April 7, 2017.

They played together regularly before 2012, winning two titles and making the US Open quarterfinals twice; they revived their partnership this year and won the Marseille Open trophy last February.

"But we played against a very good team and we've still maintained our World Group status, which is important for us".

"We are a great nation who have not won this competition since 2001".

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Viktor Troicki and Nenad Zimonjic beat Spain's Pablo Carreno Busta and Marc Lopez to send Serbia to the next stage. "But it's a damn sight better than it used to be".

Britain team captain Leon Smith defended his team who were champions in 2015 when Murray starred.

In Brisbane, Steve Johnson and Jack Sock kept American hopes alive with a 3-6, 6-3, 6-2, 2-6, 6-3 win over Australia's John Peers and Sam Groth. And despite not playing in Davis Cup for six years, he was clearly in form in Rouen, getting the late nod over the higher-ranked Gilles Simon to play this tie.

At Charleroi: Belgium 2 leads Italy 0 [David Goffin bt Andreas Seppi 6-4, 6-3, 6-3; ].

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