February 12, 2012
Nestor, Raonic lose Davis Cup doubles
By SPORTS NETWORK
VANCOUVER - Julien Benneteau and Michael Llodra took down Canadians Daniel Nestor and Milos Raonic in straight sets, 7-6 (7-1), 7-6 (7-2), 6-3 to give France a 2-1 edge in the third rubber of a best-of-five tie in Davis Cup play at Thunderbird Sports Centre.
Benneteau and Llodra had the better of the play all match, winning 81% of first serve points, to just 71% for Nestor and Raonic. The French tandem also converted 2-of-8 break points and did a fantastic job holding serve as well. Nestor and Raonic had only three break-point opportunities and failed to record a break in the match.
The Canadian duo also committed 28 unforced errors to only 18 for the French side.
France took the opening rubber on Friday after Jo-Wilfried Tsonga made quick work of Vasek Pospisil, 6-1, 6-3, 6-3. Tsonga dominated throughout the match with 91% (41-of-45) of first serve points won, while breaking Pospisil five times.
Canada responded to tie things in Friday's nightcap after Raonic topped Benneteau in straight sets, 6-2, 6-4, 7-5 on the strength of 24 aces, 89% (51-of-57) first serve points won and 4-of-7 break points won.
Play in this tie will continue on Sunday when Raonic battles Tsonga and Pospisil will take on Benneteau.
France owns nine Davis Cup titles, with its last one coming in 2001, while Canada has never reached a World Group final. France is 1-0 all-time against the Canadians, with the victory coming in Paris back in 1966.
The winner here will face the U.S. in the quarterfinals in April. The Americans surprisingly swept Switzerland this weekend.