France Wins Doubles, Takes 2-1 Lead Over Russia

Posted on July 17, 2005

Arnaud Clement and Michael Llodra gave France the edge Saturday in Moscow, defeating the first-time Russian pairing of Igor Andreev and Mikhail Youzhny 7-5, 6-4, 6-7(3), 6-2.

Russian Shamil Tarpischev made another questionable call with the choice of Andreev, who looked like he didn't want to go to the net unless it was to shake hands. Clement and Llodra seized on Andreev's inexperience, pounding the ball at the Russian and making him volley at every opportunity to put the French within one win in the tie.

"We like to play together," Llodra said. "Maybe today we had more confidence than them. We've played many matches this year together, and maybe it helps a lot in Davis Cup."

On Sunday the first rubber will feature French 19-year-old Richard Gasquet versus Nikolay Davydenko, then likely Youzhny versus big-match choker Paul-Henri Mathieu for France.