Davis Cup holders France join Spain, Croatia in last eight

Adrian Mannarino sent defending champions France through to the Davis Cup quarter-finals on Sunday after sealing victory over the Netherlands.

Published: 05th February 2018 12:15 AM  |   Last Updated: 05th February 2018 12:15 AM   |  A+A-

Austria's Dominic Thiem waves after defeating France's Adrian Mannarino during their third round match at the Australian Open tennis championships in Melbourne, Australia, Saturday, Jan. 20, 2018. | AP

By AFP

PARIS: Adrian Mannarino sent defending champions France through to the Davis Cup quarter-finals on Sunday after sealing victory over the Netherlands, while Croatia knocked off Canada to follow Spain through. 

The left-handed Mannarino, the world number 25, atoned for Friday's straight-sets loss to Thiemo de Bakker in the opening singles rubber by outlasting Robin Haase 4-6, 7-6 (7/5), 7-5, 6-7 (2/7), 7-5 to clinch a 3-1 win in Albertville.

Yannick Noah's team were on the cusp of victory on Sunday when Mannarino served for the match at 5-4 in the fourth set, but Haase broke back and won a tie-break to force a deciding fifth set.

Mannarino, a late call-up after first choices Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Lucas Pouille pulled out injured, kept his nerve though and closed out a thrilling encounter in four hours and 21 minutes.

"It was so close," said France captain Noah. "I went through all the emotions the whole weekend. I thought we were going to a fifth rubber for sure. I thought we had it in the fourth as (Mannarino) was a break up and playing well."

France advance to face Italy in the last eight in April, as Fabio Fognini beat Japan's Yuichi Sugita in five hard-fought sets in Morioka to complete a 3-1 win.

Albert Ramos-Vinolas overcame another battling display from Britain's Cameron Norrie in the first reverse singles to earn five-time champions Spain a 3-1 victory on the clay in Marbella.

Norrie, 22, had become an instant national hero on Friday when he upset Roberto Bautista Agut, but the Briton was unable to produce another shock as Ramos-Vinolas prevailed 7-6 (7/4), 2-6, 7-6 (7/4), 6-2.

"I was more focused in the tie-break and I think that playing a little better in important moments is what decided the match," said the 21st-ranked Ramos-Vinolas.

- Zverev sinks Kyrgios -
Spain, who were without world number one Rafael Nadal, will host Germany for a place in the semi-finals.

German number one Alexander Zverev produced some superb tennis to beat Nick Kyrgios 6-2, 7-6 (7/3), 6-2 to give his country a 3-1 win over Australia in Brisbane.

"(To win) against a very strong Australian team makes us very confident for the next round, for the upcoming years," German captain Michael Kohlmann said.

"We showed we have a lot of good players, a lot of strong players.

"We showed that we are able to go further than this."

Borna Coric powered past Denis Shapovalov 6-4, 6-4, 6-4 to propel Croatia to a 3-1 success at home to Canada in Osijek, with Kazakhstan -- 4-1 winners over Switzerland in Astana -- awaiting the 2005 winners in the next round.

Last year's runners-up Belgium secured victory over Hungary in Liege as world number seven David Goffin defeated Marton Fucsovics 7-5, 6-4, 3-6, 6-2 in the first reverse singles.

The Belgians will take on the United States in the quarter-finals, after the record 32-time champions ensured qualification following victory over Serbia in the doubles on Saturday.

Pedja Krstin restored some Serbian pride as he beat American Steve Johnson in two sets on Sunday in Nis to prevent a whitewash.

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