Tennis: Aussies close in on Cup
Sunday 05 December 1999
Their 2-6 7-5 6-2 6-2 win in Nice silenced the French fans and gave Australia a 2-1 lead in the best-of-five final. Mark Philippoussis will win the trophy for Australia if he beats Cedric Pioline in the first of the reverse singles this afternoon. Lleyton Hewitt faces Sebastien Grosjean in the final match.
Woodforde and Woodbridge used all their experience to claw back the match after the French pair were just one point away from taking a two-set lead. Both teams knew the importance of the match: since 1978 the winners of the doubles in the Davis Cup final have gone on to lift the trophy.
Initially the thunderous support that unnerved Grosjean on Friday served only to inspire the French, who raced to a 4-0 first-set lead, Santoro's deft lob to break Woodbridge's serve indicating their early dominance. Santoro and Delaitre, who have won five doubles titles, looked unstoppable taking the first set in just 38 minutes and moving to a 4-2 second-set lead.
In the fourth game of the second set, the crowd was brought to its feet when Delaitre won a point with an instinctive volley played from behind his back. But the Australians refused to buckle, saving four set points at 2-4 and a set point when Santoro was serving for the second set at 5-4. The Woodies broke serve again to take the second set before dominating the third to the delight of a large contingent of Australian fans decked in green and gold.
Santoro's service faltered in the third game of the fourth set and, despite the fervent home support, the visiting team eased to victory, Woodforde sealing the win with a smart high backhand volley.
Latest in Sport
Manchester United's best XI of the season so far: No place for Angel Di Maria or Juan Mata
WWE Raw results: Brock Lesnar suspended for post-Wrestlemania 31 rampage after losing title to Seth Rollins
WrestleMania 31 results: Seth Rollins stuns WWE as he cashes in Money in the Bank contract to claim title from Brock Lesnar
Chelsea's best XI of the season so far: Petr Cech has been better than Thibaut Courtois
Chelsea's Eden Hazard, Arsenal's Mesut Ozil and Manchester City's Jesus Navas are the three best attacking midfielders in Europe in 2015
- 1 Tidal launch: The most pretentious lines from Alicia Keys' valedictory speech
- 3 Katie Hopkins attacked me on Twitter — so I reported her to the police for inciting racial hatred
- 4 Tidal: Jay Z's Spotify rival streaming service criticised for making wealthy artists even richer
- 5 Brixton squat flats now costing up to £3k per month show how out of control rent is in London
Ukip supporters are 55 or older, white and socially conservative, finds British Social Attitudes Report
Street preacher quoting from the Bible fined for calling homosexuality an 'abomination'
Woman filmed launching racist tirade against men on the Tube for speaking in 'own lingo'
The West has it totally wrong on Lee Kuan Yew
David Cameron calls Labour 'hopeless, sneering socialists' while announcing 7-day NHS plans
Revealed: Putin's army of pro-Kremlin bloggers
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This leading supplier of compliance software a...
£24000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The Associate System Engineer r...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: An Executive Assistant is required to join a l...
£45000 - £50000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: A highly successful, glo...