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Saturday, February 1, 2014
France, Germany in Davis quarters news services

LA ROCHE-SUR-YON, France -- Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Richard Gasquet beat Lleyton Hewitt and Chris Guccione 5-7, 7-6 (4), 6-2, 7-5 to give France an unassailable 3-0 lead over Australia and a spot in the Davis Cup quarterfinals on Saturday.

Hewitt and Guccione were previously undefeated in the Davis Cup as a doubles team, but Tsonga and Gasquet overpowered them by hitting 21 aces to 4, and 74 winners to 38.

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga helped France take a 3-0 Davis Cup lead and make the quarterfinals.

The Australian rallied from a 3-0 deficit and won the opening set when Hewitt hit a return winner off Gasquet's serve. However, Guccione failed to serve out the second set at 5-3 as the match turned in France's favor.

In the tiebreaker, the French team jumped to a 6-3 lead after Guccione netted a backhand volley and Tsonga slapped a forehand winner. Tsonga fired an ace to level at one set apiece.

The French pair did not face any break points in the third and fourth sets. The hosts went a set up when Gasquet whipped a forehand pass down the middle and won the match when Gasquet hit a powerful backhand that Hewitt could not return.

On Friday, Tsonga cruised past Hewitt 6-3, 6-2, 7-6 (2), and Gasquet routed Nick Kyrgios 7-6 (3), 6-2, 6-2.

France will face Germany in the quarterfinals while Australia will compete in the playoffs to stay in the World Group.

Tommy Haas and Philipp Kohlschreiber secured Germany's place in the quarterfinals by winning their doubles match for a 3-0 lead over Spain.

The Germans held their nerve to beat Fernando Verdasco and David Marrero 7-6 (5), 6-7 (9), 7-6 (7), 6-3 in 3 hours, 25 minutes, giving Spain its second straight first-round exit. Spain lost to Canada last year. The former five-time champion faces a World Group playoff in September.

The 35-year-old Haas served out the match to give Germany its first victory over Spain since 1994, and then led the celebrations in front of the enthusiastic home crowd.

Switzerland also advanced to the quarterfinals and will play either Belgium or Kazakhstan in April.

The Swiss defeated Serbia after Marco Chiudinelli and Michael Lammer beat Nenad Zimonjic and Filip Krajinovic in the doubles for an unbeatable 3-0 lead.

"We congratulate the Swiss team," Serbia captain Bogdan Obradovic said. "Our guys did their best, but didn't have luck."

On Friday, Swiss stars Roger Federer and Stanislas Wawrinka won their opening singles.

Serbia, last year's finalist, was playing without its three top players, Novak Djokovic, Janko Tipsarevic and Viktor Troicki.

In other Davis Cup action:

Tomas Berdych and Radek Stepanek won the doubles for the defending champion Czech Republic to take a 2-1 lead over the Netherlands.

The Czechs defeated Robin Haase and Jean-Julien Rojer 7-5, 1-6, 7-6 (2), 7-6 (4) in almost four hours on an indoor hard court at CEZ Arena to improve to a 15-1 record in the cup doubles.

The Czechs, seeking their third straight Davis Cup title are one win away from the quarterfinals while the Dutch must win both reverse singles on Sunday to reach the quarters for the first time since 2005.

• Italy took a 2-1 lead over Argentina by winning a four-set doubles.

Fabio Fognini and Simone Bolelli defeated Eduardo Schwank and Horacio Zeballos 6-7 (6), 7-6 (8), 7-6 (3), 6-4 in a four-hour match on outdoor clay.

Italy needs to win one of the reverse singles on Sunday to wrap it up, with Fognini expected to face Carlos Berlocq and Andreas Seppi against Juan Monaco.

Kei Nishikori and Yasutaka Uchiyama beat Frank Dancevic and Daniel Nestor of Canada 6-3, 7-6 (3), 4-6, 6-4 to give Japan a 2-1 lead.

Nishikori will face Dancevic in Sunday's first reverse singles match, followed by Go Soeda against Peter Polansky.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.