LILLE, France (Reuters) - France punched their ticket to the Davis Cup final when Jo-Wilfried Tsonga beat Dusan Lajovic 2-6 6-2 7-6(5) 6-2 to give the hosts an unassailable 3-1 lead against Serbia on Sunday.
Playing on clay at Lille’s Pierre Mauroy stadium, Les Bleus did not have it easy in their semi-final against a team deprived of former world number one Novak Djokovic as they set up a meeting against Australia or Belgium.
France were the heavy favourites against Serbia and they delivered despite unexpectedly losing the first point when Lucas Pouille lost to Lajovic on Friday.
French number one Tsonga, however, played solid tennis against Laslo Djere and Lajovic to give Les Bleus two points while grand slam champions Nicolas Mahut and Pierre-Hugues Herbert won their doubles against Filip Krajinovic and Nenad Zimonjic.
“It was an exciting tie and the mindset was perfect,” said France team captain Yannick Noah.
“There were ups and downs but let’s enjoy it. Being in the final was a dream.”
France played their last final in 2014, losing in Lille to Roger Federer’s Switwerland.
Writing by Julien Pretot; Editing by Rex Gowar