Serbia’s Novak Djokovic restores parity after France’s Gael Monfils won the first single’s tie.
|Clement and Llodra embrace after winning the match having gone two sets down to their Serb opponents [AFP]|
France edged towards a 10th Davis Cup title when Arnaud Clement and Michael Llodra staged a remarkable fightback to beat Serbia’s Nenad Zimonjic and Viktor Troicki in a five-set cliffhanger.
In an electrifying atmosphere inside a jam-packed Belgrade Arena, the experienced French partnership roared back to win 3-6 6-7 6-4 7-5 6-4 and spark wild celebrations from their sizeable army of fans in a sell-out crowd.
Their victory put France 2-1 ahead in the tie and Gael Monfils could wreck Serbia’s hopes of winning the trophy for the first time if he beats home favourite Novak Djokovic in Sunday’s first reverse singles.
Nearly 17,000 fans waving flags and banging drums cranked up the volume throughout a stormy match that threatened to boil over at the end of the second set when Spanish umpire Enric Molina struggled to keep order.
However, it was the French duo who kept their composure at the crucial moments and Llodra’s winning volley ended a pulsating match after four hours and 34 minutes to leave Serbia needing to win both of Sunday’s singles rubbers.