Argentina, France in Davis quarters
By Foster Niumata ,AP
February 4, 2013, 12:00 am TWN
Argentina and France won with a day to spare on Saturday to set up a Davis Cup quarterfinal in April.
Serbia also led its first-round tie by an unbeatable 3-0 after beating Belgium in doubles in Charleroi. The Serbians awaited the winner in Jacksonville, Florida, where the United States led Brazil 2-1.
The defending champion Czech Republic won the longest Davis Cup match ever — 7 hours, 2 minutes — to lead Switzerland 2-1 in Geneva.
Also, Austria won the doubles to stay alive against Kazakhstan, and Italy led Croatia in Turin for the first time after winning a four-set doubles.
Canada had a chance late to upset a depleted Spain in Vancouver.
France's Julien Benneteau and Michael Llodra didn't drop serve as they dispatched Israel's makeshift pair of Jonathan Erlich and Dudi Sela 7-6 (3), 6-1, 6-0 in Rouen.
Following a first victory on debut as captain, Arnaud Clement had a dilemma on his hands for the quarterfinal in Argentina. Gael Monfils, who played with Clement in France's 5-0 sweep of Argentina in the 2010 semifinals, should be available.
“I have a lot of questions to ask myself before the next match, and it's really a luxury to have all of the questions,” Clement said.
Argentina has never beaten France, but it has a formidable record at home that Germany came to realize.
David Nalbandian and Horacio Zeballos wrapped up the win in Buenos Aires by defeating Germany's Christopher Kas and Tobias Kamke 6-1, 6-4, 5-7, 6-2.
Locals believed that without absent star Juan Martin del Potro that Argentina was at risk of losing, despite beating Germany in the first round last year. The stalwart Nalbandian believed otherwise.
“We showed we are a tough team to beat at home, and that we have great players,” he said.