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The return of Grosjean?
If there’s an omen in this, it benefits the Russians. They lost the doubles to Clement and Llodra last July by a very similar score but came back to win that quarterfinal, and they lost the doubles in the 2002 final in Paris but still managed to win on the final rubber.
Both captains have a lot of thinking to do before the first of the reverse singles. For France, Sebastien Grosjean is reported to have overcome the back injury that kept him out of Friday’s singles, and looks a likely bet to face Marat Safin in the fifth rubber. But Guy Forget may be tempted to play him against Nikolay Davydenko, especially if France’s top-ranked player Richard Gasquet is still a little tired after his five-set defeat to Safin on Friday.
Russia’s Shamil Tarpischev is likely to gamble on Davydenko, despite the Russian’s cramping problems in the fourth set tiebreak against Clement on Friday. But those problems will give France hope, and if it were to come to a live fifth rubber between Safin and Grosjean, that really could go either way.
There’s still a lot of tennis to be played in Pau before this quarterfinal is decided.
Hope Seb will return soon...