Aussies close in on Cup

By Derrick Whyte in Nice

By Derrick Whyte in Nice

05 December 1999

Mark Woodforde and Todd Woodbridge staged a spirited comeback to beat France's Fabrice Santoro and Olivier Delaitre yesterday and take Australia to within one match of winning the Davis Cup.

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.

PROMOTED VIDEO
News
Russell Brand arriving for the book launch in East London
peopleRussell Brand cancels his book launch debate due to concerns about the make-up of the panel
Arts and Entertainment
JK Rowling will not be releasing a 'romance' novel anytime soon
books
Life and Style
tech

Of all the computers Apple has ever made there’s only one that Steve Jobs had to sell his car to finance

Arts and Entertainment
Sarah Dales attempts to sell British Breeze in the luxury scent task
tvReview: 'Apprentice' candidates on the verge of tears as they were ejected from the boardroom
News
One of the 'princesses' in the video
videoYouTube reinstates sweary video after takedown for 'violating terms'
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

A crime that reveals London's dark heart

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?
Meet 'Porridge' and 'Vampire': Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker

Lost in translation: Western monikers

Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker. Simon Usborne, who met a 'Porridge' and a 'Vampire' while in China, can see the problem
Handy hacks that make life easier: New book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone

Handy hacks that make life easier

New book reveals how to rid your email inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone with a loo-roll
KidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day

KidZania: It's a small world

The new 'educational entertainment experience' in London's Shepherd's Bush will allow children to try out the jobs that are usually undertaken by adults, including firefighter, doctor or factory worker
Renée Zellweger's real crime has been to age in an industry that prizes women's youth over humanity

'Renée Zellweger's real crime was to age'

The actress's altered appearance raised eyebrows at Elle's Women in Hollywood awards on Monday
From Cinderella to The Jungle Book, Disney plans live-action remakes of animated classics

Disney plans live-action remakes of animated classics

From Cinderella to The Jungle Book, Patrick Grafton-Green wonders if they can ever recapture the old magic
Thousands of teenagers to visit battlefields of the First World War in new Government scheme

Pupils to visit First World War battlefields

A new Government scheme aims to bring the the horrors of the conflict to life over the next five years
The 10 best smartphone accessories

Make the most of your mobile: 10 best smartphone accessories

Try these add-ons for everything from secret charging to making sure you never lose your keys again
Mario Balotelli substituted at half-time against Real Madrid: Was this shirt swapping the real reason?

Liverpool v Real Madrid

Mario Balotelli substituted at half-time. Was shirt swapping the real reason?
West Indies tour of India: Hurricane set to sweep Windies into the shadows

Hurricane set to sweep Windies into the shadows

Decision to pull out of India tour leaves the WICB fighting for its existence with an off-field storm building
Indiana serial killer? Man arrested for murdering teenage prostitute confesses to six other murders - and police fear there could be many more

A new American serial killer?

Police fear man arrested for murder of teen prostitute could be responsible for killing spree dating back 20 years
Sweetie, the fake 10-year-old girl designed to catch online predators, claims her first scalp

Sting to trap paedophiles may not carry weight in UK courts

Computer image of ‘Sweetie’ represented entrapment, experts say
Fukushima nuclear crisis: Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on - and may never return home

Return to Fukushima – a land they will never call home again

Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on from nuclear disaster
Wildlife Photographer of the Year: Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize

Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize
Online petitions: Sign here to change the world

Want to change the world? Just sign here

The proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?