France and Switzerland on the brink

7925473France and Switzerland are one win away from facing one another in the Davis Cup final after dominant displays on the opening day of their respective semi-finals.

The Swiss have been able to call upon both of their big guns for their last four encounter with Italy in Geneva, with Roger Federer and Stanislas Wawrinka recording singles victories on Friday.

The 17-time Grand Slam champion Federer (6/1 2015 Wimbledon outright) didn’t drop his serve as he defeated Simone Bolelli 7-6(5) 6-4 6-4 to give the home side an early lead.

“The margins were small in the first set,” Federer said. “In the second set I was finally able to get the break and that broke the deadlock for me a little bit. I was able to play with the lead which is always easier.

“It was quite frustrating at times when the court is pretty quick. We didn’t think it was going to be this fast but when you do serve well you really do feel the benefit.”

Wawrinka was able to build upon his compatriots success earlier on in the day as he beat Fabio Fognini 6-2 6-3 6-2 in 90 minutes to leave the Swiss needing one more win to secure a place in the Davis Cup final for the first time in 22 years.

Wawrinka and Federer, who won the gold medal at the 2008 Olympic Games in the men’s doubles, will hope to finish off the Italians when they team up to face Andreas Seppi and Paolo Lorenzi in Saturday’s doubles.

Should Switzerland reach the final then they look likely to come up against neighbours France after they went 2-0 up in their semi-final with the Czech Republic in Paris.

Richard Gasquest eased past Tomas Berdych with a 6-3 6-2 6-3 triumph, Berdych making 38 unforced errors and admitting after the game that he hadn’t felt ready to compete.

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (80/1 2015 Wimbledon outright) then made light work of Lukas Rosol 6-2 6-2 6-3 to leave the defending champions on the verge of a semi-final exit.

The Czech’s can keep their slim hope alive with victory in the doubles on Saturday as Radek Stepanek and Jiri Vesely get set to face Julien Benneteau and Gael Monfils.

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