Although Germany was holding a 2-0 lead after the opening day of the Davis Cup 2014 tie against France, the hosts managed to secure an overall victory in Nancy today and progressed to the semi-finals.
The contest went underway with a rubber between 50th-ranked Julien Bennetau and World no. 96 Tobias Kamke. The Frenchman was unlucky not to seize the opener as he first squandered a 4-0 advantage as well as five set points some minutes later before his rival sealed the tie-break. Kamke then took over the initiative, held all of his remaining service games and broke Bennetau three times to grab the first point for the visitors by winning 7-6 (8), 6-3, 6-2.
119th-ranked Peter Gojowczyk added insult to France’s injury after prevailing in a five-set thriller against World no. 12 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga. The highest-ranked domestic player went one set up twice in the match, yet the resilient German dug deep to clinch a couple of tie-breaks and force a decider where he converted on the match point number three to win 5-7, 7-6 (3), 3-6, 7-6 (8), 8-6.
The home team’s comeback started with a convincing doubles victory as experienced Bennetau and Michael Llodra overcame Kamke and Andre Begemann in four sets. The result: 6-1, 7-6(5), 4-6, 7-5 .
Tsonga came out a different player on Sunday as he showed his class to brush aside Kamke in a dominant fashion. He found an answer to everything that was thrown his way to keep his serve intact throughout the vital clash, whilst he broke the rival four times to give a lifeline to his team with a 6-3, 6-2, 6-4 triumph. World no. 25 Gael Monfils was recruited to play the deciding rubber which he controlled from beginning to end. The best Gojowczyk could do was to make it to the second set tie-break where he was again outplayed by Monfils who landed a semi-final spot for his country after celebrating a 6-1, 7-6 (0), 6-2 victory on the hard court of Palais Des Sports Jean Weille.
World Group, France – Germany 3-2
The Frenchmen will face Czech Republic in Davis Cup semis.