Nicolas Mahut and Pierre-Hugues Herbert ensured France took a 2-1 advantage into the fourth rubber of their Davis Cup World Group quarter-final tie against hosts Italy with victory in the doubles at the Valletta Cambiaso in Genova.
Mahut and Herbert dominated from the start in their match against Italian duo Simone Bolelli and 2015 Australia Open doubles winner Fabio Fognini and claimed the first set by a 6-4 scoreline.
The Frenchmen then took this momentum into the second set and recorded a 6-3 victory to make it 2-0 before thrashing their Italian opponents 6-1 in the third to take a 3-0 victory overall, giving France a 2-1 lead in the tie going into the final two rubbers.
Over in Valencia, Germany saw off a valiant fightback from hosts Spain in the doubles to take a 2-1 lead in the overall tie.
It had looked like Tim Puetz and Jan-Lennard Struff of Germany would breeze through their match against Spaniards Feliciano Lopez and Marc Lopez at the Plaza de Toros de Valencia after winning the first two sets 6-3, 6-4.
The hosts, however, took the next two set 6-3, 7-6 to force a decider and it looked like the momentum was firmly in their favour.
Unfortunately for them, Puetz and Struff recovered to take the decider 7-5 to secure a 3-2 victory overall.
The day’s other quarter-final to take place in Europe saw Ivan Dodig and Nikola Mektić of Croatia beat Kazakhstani duo Timur Khabibulin and Aleksandr Nedovyesov 6-7, 6-4, 6-4, 6-2 on home soil at the Varazdin Arena in Varazdine, meaning they now hold a 2-1 lead in the overall tie.
The United States, 2-0 up after the first day’s play, secured the tie with a day to spare on the hard courts of Nashville’s Curb Event Center as Jack Sock and Ryan Harrison won their doubles match against Sander Gille and Joran Vliegen 5-7, 7-6, 7-6, 6-4.
The final two rubbers of each tie are due to take place tomorrow.