Davis Cup: Czech Republic tied with France 1-1 in quarters

by: AP | July 15, 2016

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Lukas Rosol saved two match points to prevail over Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, 6-4, 3-6, 4-6, 7-6 (8), 6-4. (Wikimedia Commons)

TRINEC, Czech Republic (AP) Lucas Pouille made a victorious Davis Cup debut for France by beating Jiri Vesely 7-6 (2), 6-4, 7-5 to level the quarterfinal against the Czech Republic at 1-1 on Friday.

Amid increased security following the deadly attack in the French city of Nice, Pouille got a break for 6-5 in the final set with a forehand winner and clinched the victory on his first match point.

Earlier, Lukas Rosol saved two match points to prevail over Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 6-4, 3-6, 4-6, 7-6 (8), 6-4 and put the Czechs 1-0 ahead on an indoor hard court in the eastern city of Trinec.

A minute of silence was observed at Werk Arena before the opening singles to honor the 84 people killed by a truck in Nice.

''All my thoughts are with the victims and families of this tragedy,'' Tsonga tweeted.

In Saturday's doubles, veteran Radek Stepanek will team with Adam Pavlasek for the Czechs against Wimbledon doubles champions Nicolas Mahut and Pierre-Hugues Herbert.

Pouille wasted two set points at 5-4 before dominating the tiebreaker in the first set. Vesely was the first player to drop his serve and was trailing 3-1 in the second before temporarily coming back with three straight games, but Pouille got another break to go 5-4 up and hit an ace on his second set point to take command.

In the four-hour opening singles, Rosol converted his third match point with a passing forehand.

''I'm speechless,'' Rosol said. ''Things somehow turned around.''

It was only his second career victory over Tsonga in five matchups.

''We're delighted to take a lead. To beat their No. 1, it feels great. It's a good start to the weekend but we haven't won yet.''

Tsonga wasted two match points in the tiebreaker to allow the fifth set when he hit the net with a backhand on Rosol's second set point.

He looked tired in the final set. He answered Rosol's break in the opening game but had no reply after he dropped his serve in the seventh game.

Big-serving Tsonga hit 18 aces, but just one in the fifth set.

In the opening set, Rosol broke Tsonga in the seventh game with a passing backhand.

Tsonga came back to the match with a break for a 5-3 lead in the second set and served out the set at love.

In a tight third set, Tsonga saved four break points in the second game and another two in the fourth game before breaking Rosol in the fifth game and hitting an ace on his second set point.

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