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Doubles boilover gives Argentina edge

Published: 1:45PM Sunday April 07, 2013 Source: Reuters

Argentina came from a set down to upset favourites France in the doubles and take a 2-1 lead in their Davis Cup quarter-final at Parque Roca today.

David Nalbandian and Horacio Zeballos beat Julien Benneteau and Michael Llodra 3-6 7-6 7-5 6-3 after a remarkable comeback from 2-5 down in the third set.

Zeballos, who had a poor opening set, lifted his game to complement experienced Davis Cup campaigner Nalbandian and stun the French pair, who won only three of the last 14 games.

"I think we did a very good job today for Argentina," former world No 3 Nalbandian said. "The conditions were very difficult as it was windy,"

Llodra told the post-match news conference that Zeballos "had a very good fourth set, he played much more freely after the third. We knew he was capable of playing very well.

"We're better on fast courts. Today, there was Little between us."

French captain Arnaud Clement said there was still everything to play for in the two singles tomorrow.

"The two matches tomorrow will be just as hard to win for the Argentines," he said. "I'm still confident, we still have our chances to pass this round.

"If we want to win the Cup, we have to be able to turn this situation around."

World No 8 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, who won the opening point for France when he beat Carlos Berlocq in five sets yesterday, was scheduled to meet Juan Monaco in tomorrow's first singles, looking to save the tie for France.

"He was very, very solid [yesterday]," said Clement. "He's had a day to recover and tomorrow he'll be in good shape for his match."

Gilles Simon, who lost Friday's second singles to Monaco, is down to face Berlocq in the fifth rubber.

However, Simon, chosen in preference to injured Richard Gasquet, complained of back pain during the second set yesterday and could be a doubt for tomorrow.

Clement refused to commit himself on his choice for the fifth rubber, which could be critical for France, saying Simon was fit, but a decision would be taken at a team meeting tonight.