Argentina eliminated France in Davis Cup 2013 to set up a semifinal clash against defending champions Czechs.
The Saturday’s doubles clash could have gone either way with the Frenchmen Michel Llodra and Julien Bennetau leading 5-2 at 1-1, yet the Argentine team consisting of David Nalbandian and Horacio Zeballos turned around the third set as well as the match. They won 3-6, 7-6 (3), 7-5, 6-3, thus setting the stage for the last day’s drama.
The French succeeded to level the terms on Sunday as Jo-Wilfried Tsonga stormed past helpless Juan Monaco to complete a straight sets victory in one hour and forty-four minutes. He opened the encounter by winning three consecutive games and managed to maintain high level of his game throughout the rest of the match, never dropping a serve. He extended the one set lead with the help of a couple of second set breaks, whilst he did not let the Argentine get on the board in the final set at all. Final score: 6-3, 6-3, 6-0.
It was up to Carlos Berlocq and Gilles Simon to decide who will be issued a semifinal Davis Cup ticket. The Argentine gave away his opening service game, yet he broke back shortly after and stunned Simon again when the Frenchman was serving to stay in the set. In the set number two the resilient Argentine chased down two of his opponent’s breaks, yet he found no response for the third one, allowing Simon to make it 1-1. The history somewhat repeated itself in the following set with the Frenchman breaking back twice before losing another serve as well as the third set. Backed by the Buenos Aires crowd Berlocq moved 4-2 ahead in the fourth set and ultimately converted the sixth match ball to seal Argentina’s triumph. The scoreline: 6-4, 5-7, 6-4, 6-4. The delighted hosts defeated France for the first time in six meetings and will travel to Czech Republic in September.
Argentina – France 3-2