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France close in on first Davis Cup triumph since 2001

France moved within one victory of a 10th Davis Cup title by winning the doubles against Belgium on Saturday in Lille.

France moved within one victory of a 10th Davis Cup title by winning the doubles against Belgium on Saturday in Lille.

Richard Gasquet and Pierre-Hugues Herbert beat Ruben Bemelmans and Joris De Loore 6-1 3-6 7-6 (7/2) 6-4 to give the hosts a 2-1 lead in the final ahead of Sunday's reverse singles matches.

The French pair, playing competitively together for the first time, were down a break in the third set when Gasquet lost his serve, but Bemelmans was unable to serve out the set and the hosts dug in and took the tie-break.

France made their decisive move in the seventh game of the fourth set on the Bemelmans serve, and Herbert would eventually serve out the match.

If Jo-Wilfried Tsonga defeats David Goffin in the first singles match on Sunday then France will win the Davis Cup for the first time since 2001 with a match to spare.

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