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France locks up Davis Cup series

Feb. 2, 2013 at 10:26 AM   |   Comments

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ROUEN, France, Feb. 2 (UPI) -- Julien Benneteau and Michael Llodra, losing just one game in the final two sets Saturday against Israeli players, clinched a Davis Cup series for France.

Benneteau and Llodra easily handled Jonathan Erlich and Dudi Sela 7-6 (7-3), 6-1, 6-0 to five France a 3-0 lead in the best-of-five series.

That puts France in the Davis Cup quarterfinals in April against either Argentina or Germany. Argentina won the first two matches in that series.

Singles wins Friday by Top 10 players Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Richard Gasquet gave the French a 2-0 lead.

After a relatively close first-set Saturday, Benneteau and Llodra wasted little time in assuring a French series win. Neither side managed a break in the first set but the French had five in the next two sets, limiting Erlich and Sela to a total of 17 points -- six over the six games Benneteau and Llodra served.

The final two sets took just 45 minutes.

There will still be two singles matches Sunday, with Tsonga scheduled to take on Sale and Gasquet to meet Amir Weintraub.

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