French delight at Davis Cup quarters spot

French delight at Davis Cup quarters spot
Photo: Arne Dedert DPA/AFP
France captain Arnaud Clement was delighted as his side qualified for the quarter finals of the Davis Cup after taking an unassailable 3-0 lead over Germany in Frankfurt on Saturday.

After Gilles Simon and Gael Monfils beat Jan-Lennard Struff and Philipp Kohlschreiber respectively in Friday's singles, the doubles pairing of Julien Benneteau and Nicolas Mahut strolled to a 6-4, 6-3, 6-2 victory over Benjamin Becker and Andre Begemann.

"It's been the perfect weekend in terms of results and for the doubles pairing," beamed Clement, whose side lost the 2014 final to Switzerland.

"Nico (Mahut) looked very strong in his first match.

"We have seen in the past how difficult it can be for teams to play well again having reached the final the year before, so it was important to see the enthusiasm in this first match."

Germany have now lost all eight Davis Cup matches against the French dating back to 1938 and their inexperienced team offered little resistance in their opening World Group match.

"Of course, the disappointment is very big, but we have to recognise that we deserved to lose the doubles over three sets," said Germany captain Michael Kohlmann following his first match in charge.

The Germans are now facing a relegation play-off in September while France play the winner of the USA verses Great Britain tie in Glasgow for a semi-final berth.

The French team enjoyed a hearty rendition of 'La Marseillaise along with a 200-strong group of fans who made the trip to Frankfurt with only pride now at stake for Sunday's remaining singles rubbers.

"It doesn't feel good when the French celebrate with a little party in our hall," admitted Kohlmann.