France sweep Spain to reach Davis Cup final

Reigning Davis Cup champions France are through to another final after dispatching Spain 3-0 on Saturday.

In front of their home fans in Lille, the current holders wrapped up a semi-final victory with a day to spare to set up a final against either Croatia or USA.

France took a commanding 2-0 lead after Friday’s opening two singles matches thanks to victories for Lucas Pouille and Benoit Paire.

That gave them a chance of killing off the match with another victory in Saturday’s doubles tie, and that’s precisely what they did as veteran doubles pair Julien Benneteau and Nicolas Mahut beat Marcel Granollers and Feliciano Lopez 6-0, 6-4, 7-6 (9-7) inside the Pierre Mauroy soccer stadium.

It is the first time since 2002 that France have reached back-to-back finals.

Spain had to make do without top-ranked Rafael Nadal after he was ruled out due to the right-knee injury he suffered during his US Open semifinal against Juan Martin del Potro last week.

The second Davis Cup semi-final is still alive after the USA fought back to reduce their deficit against Croatia.

The Europeans led 2-0 after the opening day thanks to singles victories for Marin Cilic and Borna Coric, but the American doubles pair of Mike Bryan and Ryan Harrison kept the tie alive with a hard-fought 7-5 7-6 (8-6), 1-6, 6-7 (5-7), 7-6 (7-5) victory over Ivan Dodig and Mate Pavic on Saturday.

Cilic will have a chance to wrap up the win for Croatia when he plays Steve Johnson in the fourth rubber tomorrow.

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