LILLE, November 25, 2017
Richard Gasquet and Pierre-Hugues Herbert beat Ruben Bemelmans and Joris De Loore 6-1, 3-6, 7-6, 6-4 to claim a 2-1 lead for France in the best-of-five Davis Cup by BNP Paribas final against Belgium. Saturday’s doubles rubber lasted three hours and threee minutes.
“We didn’t know what to expect but we stayed together from the beginning to the end. We got the win and we’re so happy,” said Herbert, who surpisingly played alongside Gasquet and not with his long-time partner Nicolas Mahut. Captain Yannick Noah had decided to split up France’s established doubles pair.
“It was a difficult decision because a lot of people did not have the same vision and even people within the group did not have the same vision,” Noah said.
“Personally, it’s good for me that they won because otherwise I would have been on a hot seat.”
On Friday, David Goffin won the opening singles rubber against Lucas Pouille to put the visitors ahead, with Jo-Wilfried Tsonga defeating Steve Darcis to level at 1-1.
Sunday’s singles reverse rubbers will start with Goffin against Tsonga followed by Pouille taking on Darcis, if needed.