DAY TWO: RUBBER THREE
Doubles Match: Richard Gasquet and Pierre-Hugues Herbert (FRA) vs. Ruben Bemelmans and Joris de Loore (BEL)
The first set was a brilliant performance from the French duo; they served well and protected their serve as well, never giving the Belgians a chance to break their serve. De Loore and Bemelmans were perhaps a tad overwhelmed by the occasion and started off slowly; as usually happens, it was difficult to get back on track in the first set and they lost that pretty easily.
The second set was much more competitive as the Belgians settled into the occasion and Bemelmans took the leadership role for the team. Suddenly the French team that should have been riding a wave of momentum, lost their focus and was broken. Yet, they kept fighting and broke back to get back on serve only for Gasquet to lose his serve. The Belgian team served for the set and there were no nerves; now there was a match as the Belgian team had found their game and their belief.
While the Belgians grew in confidence, the French team seemed to wilt under the pressure. They lost serve in the seventh game of the third set and Captain Noah began to look a bit concerned. Perhaps there were thoughts about whether he had made the right decision to replace the long-time partner of Herbert, Nicolas Mahut, with Gasquet.
Bemelmans who seemed to have taken control of the team served for the third set and folded under the pressure. The French team narrowly escaped going down two sets to one and forced the third set to a tiebreak, which they won easily. Confidence grows when you are winning; however, it fades away quickly with negative results and the Belgians struggled after they squandered the opportunity to take the two sets to one lead. The French team was quite happy to capitalize on their narrow escape and won the match 6-1, 3-6, 7-6(2), 6-4.
SOURCE OF IMAGES: Bing search (Zimbio.com: Richard Gasquet) and serveandrally