While many predicted a scintillating and competitive weekend of semi-final ties, France ensured their victory in decisive fashion to lead themselves into the final of the Davis Cup.
After losing the opening set, the French duo of Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Richard Gasquet rallied back to secure the 67(4) 64 76(5) 61 victory over Tomas Berdych and Radek Stepanek. The victory gave France a decisive 3-0 lead in the tie and led them to their first final since 2010.
“It’s great,” said Tsonga. For sure it is one of our best moments in our career, to play here in Roland Garros for a semifinal and to win on the second day, it’s unbelievable.”
“It’s unbelievable, this feeling is fantastic,” said French captain Arnaud Clement. “The players had a very tough match, it was very emotional. There were a lot of tough points and we were so lucky for the chance to play here in the stadium in front of this crowd. It’s amazing for us.”
The Czech Captain Jaroslav Navratil was disappointed with the team’s first loss since 2011 – a loss that ended an 11 tie winning streak that saw them win two consecutive titles in the process.
“For sure it feels really bad,” he said. “If you have eleven straight victories and finish like this, it is always bad, but there are still good opportunities to play next year and we see how it’s going.”
Italy hung onto their final aspiration by a short string on Saturday afternoon, when the team of Fabio Fognini and Simone Bolelli overcame Stan Wawrinka and Marco Chiudinelli 7 6-3 7-5 3-6 2-6.
“This point was very important for us, even if Roger wasn’t playing,” said Fognini. “I am much happier with my performance today, I served much better than yesterday, I returned much better. It’s still going to be very difficult for us but it’s a little less difficult than before. It depends if I play tomorrow, we have to decide. I’m a bit tired, but Simone and I always played long matches, we played four hours in Argentina, we played a long match in Naples, so we’re going to try until the end.”