Before Djokovic levelled the match, France's seasoned campaigners brought their country closer to a win in the final.
Experienced Arnaud Clement and Michael Llodra showed their veteran poise under pressure as they engineered a heroic comeback to win 3-6, 6-7(3), 6-4, 7-5, 6-4 against Nenad Zimonjic and Viktor Troicki.
The French fightback in front of a stadium mainly packed with 15,000 boisterous Serbian faithful, required just over four and a half hours.“It was a typical Davis Cup match,” French team captain Guy Forget said. “I knew they could come back, though it was clearly going to be very, very hard.”
Forget, Clement and Llodra all stressed that the experience the tandem has in playing together was crucial. “I was a little bit nervous and tight at the beginning,” Llodra said. “Arnaud helped me — that's why it's good to play with a good friend, who can find the right words to pick you up.”
Zimonjic said that he and Troicki were in control for “a set and a half,” and the first French break late in the second set.“We lost because we did not use our opportunities ... two double break points.” But Zimonjic, Troicki and team captain Bogdan Obradovic sharply criticised the chair referee Enric Molina and the line judges. Troicki said “it was worse than if we had played in Paris.” aGENCIES