ALBERTVILLE: Nicolas Mahut and Pierre-Hugues Herbert beat Robin Haase and Jean-Julien Rojer 7-6 (6), 6-3, 6-7 (3), 7-6 (2) to give defending champion France a 2-1 lead against the Netherlands in the first round of the Davis Cup World Group on Saturday.
France clinched victory on its first match point in a tough encounter where the Dutch pair had chances to take early control.
In the 10th game of the match, Herbert saved three set points on his serve. After the Dutch then saved a set point in the tiebreaker, France clinched the first set when Herbert's stabbed backhand volley at the net was too good for Haase.
There are two reverse singles to decide the contest on Sunday — Adrian Mannarino vs. Haase, and Richard Gasquet vs. Thiemo De Bakker.
In Friday's singles, Gasquet levelled the score by defeating Haase after Mannarino was upset by Thiemo de Bakker, ranked 369th.
Yannick Noah is stepping down as France's Davis Cup captain after this year's title defense.