Davis Cup holders France join Spain, Croatia in last 8

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Paris: Adrian Mannarino sent defending champions France through to the Davis Cup quarter-finals on Sunday after sealing victory over the Netherlands, while Croatia knocked off Canada to follow Spain through.

The left-handed Mannarino, the world number 25, atoned for Friday’s straight-sets loss to Thiemo de Bakker in the opening singles rubber by outlasting Robin Haase 4-6, 7-6 (7/5), 7-5, 6-7 (2/7), 7-5 to clinch a 3-1 win in Albertville.

Yannick Noah’s team were on the cusp of victory on Sunday when Mannarino served for the match at 5-4 in the fourth set, but Haase broke back and won a tie-break to force a deciding fifth set.

Mannarino, a late call-up after first choices Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Lucas Pouille pulled out injured, kept his nerve though and closed out a thrilling encounter in four hours and 21 minutes.

“It was so close,” said France captain Noah. “I went through all the emotions the whole weekend. I thought we were going to a fifth rubber for sure. I thought we had it in the fourth as (Mannarino) was a break up and playing well.”

France advance to face Italy in the last eight in April, as Fabio Fognini beat Japan’s Yuichi Sugita in five hard-fought sets in Morioka to complete a 3-1 win.

Albert Ramos-Vinolas overcame another battling display from Britain’s Cameron Norrie in the first reverse singles to earn five-time champions Spain a 3-1 victory on the clay in Marbella.

Norrie, 22, had become an instant national hero on Friday when he upset Roberto Bautista Agut, but the Briton was unable to produce another shock as Ramos-Vinolas prevailed 7-6 (7/4), 2-6, 7-6 (7/4), 6-2.

“I was more focused in the tie-break and I think that playing a little better in important moments is what decided the match,” said the 21st-ranked Ramos-Vinolas.APP

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Story first published: 5th February 2018

Originally Posted on SamaaNews

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