Tennis: Silence reigns for Les Bleus as they beat Japan

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MADRID (Information) – The final time France performed a Davis Cup tie round 60,000 followers flocked to Lille’s Stade Pierre Mauroy soccer stadium over three days to look at them lose the 2018 last to Croatia.

Tennis – Davis Cup Finals – Caja Magica, Madrid, Spain – November 19, 2019 France’s Nicolas Mahut and Pierre-Hugues Herbert shake palms with Japan’s Yasutaka Uchiyama and Ben McLachlan after their doubles match Information/Susana Vera

On Tuesday, the 10-times champions started their quest to reclaim the trophy in entrance of a handful of their supporters in Madrid’s La Caja Magica — the venue for the revamped Davis Cup.

It was a surreal expertise for Les Bleus whose fan membership normally travels the world to cheer them on.

Nevertheless, they’ve boycotted the Madrid showpiece in protest on the conventional “dwelling and away” format being largely scrapped by the Worldwide Tennis Federation in favor of an 18-nation season-ending climax performed in a single metropolis over seven days.

Doubles participant Pierre-Hugues Herbert, who with Nicolas Mahut at the very least made positive high seeds France beat Japan 2-1, summed up the feeling of getting nearly no French followers.

“Truly, it was fairly particular as a result of it was the primary time I hear myself singing La Marseillaise,” he advised reporters after he and Mahut scrambled previous Ben McLachlan and Yasutaka Uchiyama 6-7(Four) 6-Four 7-5.

Davis Cup stalwart Mahut, who was scathing of the modifications final 12 months, stated it had been a ‘unusual feeling’ however added: “When you begin and also you play with France on the again, you neglect every part. You play in your staff mates.”

The match was performed on Court docket 2, which holds round Three,500 individuals however only some hundred have been current together with an enthusiastic block of Japan supporters.

It was not look, though on Monday on the identical courtroom an excellent conflict between Canada and Italy had noisy backing for each groups. Belgium’s followers have been additionally distinguished on Monday of their win over Colombia regardless of additionally threatening a boycott.

The singles had been shared with Jo-Wilfried Tsonga thrashing Uchiyama 6-2 6-1 earlier than world quantity 10 Gael Monfils surprisingly misplaced in straight units to Yoshihito Nishioka.

France’s two-time Davis Cup winner Fabrice Santoro stated the shortage of ambiance had clearly affected Monfils.

“There was no vitality coming from the group,” Santoro advised Information. “It’s unhappy to see. However the French followers are sending a message to the ITF that they don’t seem to be pleased. Even when France get by means of to the later rounds they gained’t come. We’ll see what occurs. However so, for me, the format is so-so.”

France captain Sebastien Grosjean stated he understood the French followers staying away, however hoped they could nonetheless make it.

“We’d like them, we want extra vitality from the group,” he stated.

Within the day’s different early ties, Argentina beat Chile Three-Zero in Group C in entrance of followers carrying the well-known blue and white.

Guido Pella eased previous Chile’s Nicolas Jarry 6-Four 6-Three earlier than Diego Schwartzman crushed Cristian Garin 6-2 6-2.

In Group E Kazakhstan edged previous the Netherlands 2-1 because of a doubles win for Mikhail Kukushkin and Alexander Bublik over Robin Haase and Jean-Julien Rojer.

Every tie consists of two singles and one doubles. The six group winners plus two greatest runners-up go on to the knockout rounds later within the week. Hosts Spain face Russia later.

Reporting by Martyn Herman, modifying by Pritha Sarkar, Christian Radnedge and Toby Davis