Aussies close in on Cup
Sunday 05 December 1999
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.
Culinary experts in The Netherlands thought it was 'fresh' and 'tasty'
Anderlecht vs Arsenal match report: Kieran Gibbs and Lukas Podolski pounce as Arsenal leave it late
Manchester United vs Chelsea: Daley Blind admits United must 'play our best game' to get a result at Old Trafford
Liverpool vs Real Madrid player ratings: Was Cristiano Ronaldo the star man? And how did Mario Balotelli fare?
Liverpool vs Real Madrid match report: Cristiano Ronaldo and Karim Benzema run Reds ragged at Anfield
Mario Balotelli substituted at half-time against Real Madrid: Was shirt swapping the real reason?
- 1 As an ex prostitute, I urge all the political parties to commit to the Sex Buyer Law
- 2 Nokia no more: Microsoft drops once-ubiquitous mobile name – in favour of its Lumia brand
- 4 Australian café owner sparks debate after saying 'No' to having unruly children on premises
- 5 Couple die within 28 hours of each other after being married for 73 years
Cameron is warned 'no possibility' of UK reducing immigration and that bid to bring in quota on migrant workers would be illegal
Of course, teenage girls need role models – but not like beauty vlogger Zoella
Support for EU membership 'at highest level since 1991' with most Brits wanting to stay 'in'
Residents should throw a street party and mix with immigrant neighbours, councils told
Russell Brand threatened with arrest after filming outside Fox News headquarters
London bus driver 'kicks gay couple off for kissing'