Davis Cup: France beat Czechs to advance to final

    The French Davis Cup team celebrate victory over the Czech Republic at Roland Garros on Saturday.

    Story highlights

    • France book place in Davis Cup final with a 3-0 win over reigning champions
    • Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Richard Gasquet win Saturday's doubles rubber in four sets
    • Italy still alive in other semi against Switzerland after winning Saturday's doubles match
    • Fognini and Bolelli win epic five-setter to make overall score 2-1 to take tie into final day
    France has booked a place in the Davis Cup final after taking an unassailable 3-0 lead over the Czech Republic in their semifinal tie at Roland Garros on Saturday.
    Following straight-set victories for Jo-Wifried Tsonga and Richard Gasquet in Friday's singles, the French pair joined forces in the doubles to beat Radek Stepanek and Tomas Berdych in four sets 6-7 (4/7) 6-4 7-6 (7/5) 6-1.
    "It's for sure one of the best moments in our career to play here in a semifinal and to win in the second day," Tsonga said.
    "We always kept the fighting spirit and stayed in the match -- we all know the Davis Cup is tough."
    Victory over the reigning champions means France advance to the final for the first time since 2010, where they will face either Italy or Switzerland.
    The Italian's slim hopes of reaching a first Davis Cup final since 1998 are still alive after a thrilling five-set win in Saturday's doubles rubber over the Swiss in Geneva.
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    Trailing 2-0 after Friday's singles matches, Italy entrusted their fate to Simone Bolelli and Fabio Fognini as they took on Stan Wawrinka and Marco Chiudinelli, who replaced Roger Federer who was rested by team captain Severin Luthi.
    The match started brightly for the visitors as Bolelli and Fognini took the opening set 7-5 but the Swiss pair immediately hit back taking the second and third sets to leave Italy staring down the barrel.
    But the Italian pair seemed unperturbed by the prospect of defeat, mounting an impressive comeback to square the match at two sets all before carrying the momentum into the decider to eventually win 7-5 3-6 5-7 6-3 6-2.
    "I am much happier with my performance today," Fognini said after the marathon four-hour match.
    "I served much better than yesterday, I returned much better. It's still going to be very difficult for us but it's a little less difficult than before," he added.
    The 27-year-old will have to recover quickly for Sunday's opening reverse singles rubber where he faces 17-time grand slam champion Federer.
    Victory for Federer would propel Switzerland to a first final in 22 years and a chance to claim the title for the first time in their history.