Tennis-France seal win over Israel to make Davis Cup quarters

LONDON Sat Feb 2, 2013 3:41pm GMT

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LONDON Feb 2 (Reuters) - France sealed a quickfire victory over Israel in the Davis Cup first round on Saturday as doubles duo Julien Benneteau and Michael Llodra thrashed Dudi Sela and Jonathan Erlich.

Their 7-6 6-1 6-0 win gave France an unassailable 3-0 lead to render Sunday's reverse singles meaningless.

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Richard Gasquet both comfortably won their singles matches on Friday.

France, bidding for a 10th Davis Cup title, will face either Germany or Argentina in the quarter-finals.

Later on Saturday top seeds Spain must win Saturday's doubles rubber to avoid a shock defeat in Canada, having lost the opening two singles rubbers on Friday.

Elsewhere, Austria kept their tie against Kazakhstan alive as Julian Knowle and Alexander Peya won the doubles to leave the hosts leading 2-1 in Astana.

Serbia were looking to wrap up victory against Belgium on Saturday after Australian Open champion Novak Djokovic had helped them into a 2-0 lead on Friday.

Argentina lead Germany 2-0 and the United States are also in a strong position with a 2-0 lead at home to Brazil.

Saturday's doubles matches could prove pivotal for the two other ties, with Italy and Croatia and Switzerland and holders Czech Republic both level at 1-1.

(Reporting by Martyn Herman, editing by Stephen Wood)

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