A straight sets win for French tandem Julien Benneteau and Nicolas Mahut over Germany’s Benjamin Becker and André Begemann in the doubles means that France can enjoy the reverse singles on Sunday knowing they have already done enough to face Great Britan or the United States in the quarterfinals of the Davis Cup.
The French emerged victorious on Saturday’s third rubber winning 6-4, 6-3, 6-2 to give last year’s runners up an unassailable 3-0 lead in the tie. The team of Benneteau and Mahut capitalized on four of their eight break point opportunities, hit 28 winners and with 31 unforced errors, nine less than their opponents. Not even the more than 4.000 spectators in Frankfurt’s Fraport Arena were able to pull the Germans out of a hole and the French pair closed the match after one hour and 49 minutes.
“It’s not very often that I say the others were better. But today, this was simply the case. It didn’t feel good,” Begemann told.
“The outcome is disappointing. Although we lost against a world class doubles pair, it wasn’t even close,” Germany’s first time team captain Michael Kohlmann was disenchanted with the result. “Nevertheless, we have to take away the positive feeling from this week, although we lost,” the 41-year-old looked ahead. Germany will fight for their World Group survival in September.
France will look forward to July’s quarterfinals and were understandably happy with their performance.
“We played a solid match from the beginning to the end. We just needed some time to find our rhythm with our returns. From then on, it went better. We put a lot of variety in our shots and we were very solid at the net,” Benneteau analysed today’s encounter.
“I have been waiting for fifteen years and I had a mission to accomplish. The treatment during this weekend was very special and I can really understand now what Davis Cup is about. I can say that I’m a different player now, who competed in the Davis Cup,” told Mahut, who made his Davis Cup debut in Frankfurt. “The fact that Gilles (Simon) and Monf (Monfils) opened the tie with two wins, was helpful for us to feel completely relaxed on court today,” the 33-year-old added.
French team captain Arnaud Clement was also satisfied. “It was the perfect weekend for us. We are very happy with the result making it into the quarterfinal on Saturday evening already, is very positive. Gilles put a lot of effort into his match, Gael was very solid and the doubles performance was very strong. After losing last year’s final, it’s very nice to start into the 2015 Davis Cup with a positive feeling.”