February 4, 2018 / 5:14 PM / 4 months ago

Mannarino earns injury-hit France quarter-final spot in Davis Cup

(Reuters) - Holders France qualified for the quarter-finals of the Davis Cup when stand-in player Adrian Mannarino earned them a 3-1 unassailable lead against the Netherlands on Sunday despite Les Bleus being without their two best players because of injuries.

Tennis - Davis Cup - First Round - France vs Netherlands - Halle Olympique, Albertville, France - February 4, 2018 France's Adrian Mannarino celebrates after winning his match against Netherlands' Robin Haase and the First Round for France REUTERS/Emmanuel Foudrot

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Lucas Pouille both withdrew injured and France were trailing 1-0 after the opening singles on Friday when Mannarino, who was called up at the last minute, lost to Thiemo De Bakker in Albertville.

However Richard Gasquet levelled with a commanding win against Robin Haase before Nicolas Mahut and Pierre-Hughes Herbert won Saturday’s doubles.

Tennis - Davis Cup - First Round - France vs Netherlands - Halle Olympique, Albertville, France - February 4, 2018 France's Adrian Mannarino celebrates after winning his match against Netherlands' Robin Haase and the First Round for France REUTERS/Emmanuel Foudrot

Mannarino came back from a set down against Haase to clinch the decisive point with a 4-6 7-6(6) 7-5 6-7(2) 7-5 victory on Sunday to set up a last-eight tie with Italy, victors over Japan in Morioka.

Slideshow (3 Images)

France were joined in the last eight by Spain after they beat Britain 3-1 in Marbella despite Cameron Norrie’s best efforts against Albert Ramos-Vinas in a 7-6(4) 2-6 7-6(4) 6-2 defeat for the world number 114.

Norrie had beaten world number 23 Roberto Bautista-Agut in the opening singles on Friday but Spain were a cut above their opponents as they set up a quarter-final meeting with Germany, who defeated Australia 3-1, in April.

“I can’t speak highly enough of what Cam has done all weekend,” Britain’s captain Leon Smith said.

“People might have thought Friday was a one-off but he did it again against another high-quality player. He pushed him really close and I’m really proud of him.”

Without Roger Federer and Stan Wawrinka, Switzerland were eliminated by Kazakhstan while Serbia, missing the injured Novak Djokovic, were knocked out by the United States.

Kazakhstan will now face Croatia and the U.S. will take on Belgium, who beat Hungary with David Goffin winning both his singles matches in Liege.

Reporting by Julien Pretot; Editing by Clare Fallon

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