Re: RUSSIAN Davis Cup team
Igor Andreev and Nikolay Davydenko beat Sebastien Grosjean and Michael Llodra 3-6 7-5 6-3 3-6 6-3 in doubles on Saturday to give Russia a 2-1 lead over France in their Davis Cup world group quarterfinal.
Before Saturday, no Russian or Soviet pair had won against France in Davis Cup doubles, since their first meeting in 1973.
France's Paul-Henri Mathieu had upset world number four Davydenko in the opening singles on Friday before Russia's Mikhail Youzhny levelled the score in a marathon match against Richard Gasquet.
Davydenko replaced Marat Safin in Saturday's line-up, playing Davis Cup doubles for the first time.
"It was a difficult match," Andreev said. "We put up a fight and the French maybe started getting nervous. We had a few chances and we used them."
The French pair launched into the match with zeal, taking five games within 29 minutes.
The Russians stepped up their game and won the second set despite playing from the baseline as Safin watched from the sidelines alongside Friday's hero Youzhny.
At two sets all, the Russians produced a fighting spirit to win the decider and finish the match in three hours 23 minutes.