Leon Smith remains upbeat despite Great Britain's Davis Cup exit

With GB already 2-0 down in the quarter-final tie following defeats for Kyle Edmund and Dan Evans in the singles on Friday, captain Leon Smith knew that his doubles partnership of Jamie Murray and Dom Inglot had to win to keep their hopes of progression alive.

British supporters during the doubles match at the tennis Davis Cup World Group quarterfinal tie between France and Britain at Kindarena in Rouen, France, 08 April 2017.

"Our doubles team is world class, but France were better".

Djokovic believes nine-time champions France will be desperate to avenge their defeat in the 2010 final when they squandered a 2-1 lead to lose 3-2 after dropping both of the final day's reverse singles.

They played together regularly before 2012, winning two titles and making the US Open quarterfinals twice; they revived their partnership this year and won the Marseille Open trophy last February.

Jamie has risen to the summit of his discipline with the Brazilian Bruno Soares and has served Great Britain with distinction alongside his brother and Inglot.

At 5-4 in the third set, and with Britain serving to stay in the match, Mahut somehow returned two big smashes on the first point.

After a brief rally, Britain saved it when Benneteau netted.

Mahut and Benneteau took a tight first set in a tiebreak after saving one set point, but the British hit back in the second set, taking it 7-5 after breaking serve in the eleventh game. "I really wanted to start the weekend well and I'm very happy with the way I played". But Noah's decision to pick Chardy ahead of the much higher ranked Gilles Simon and pair late-thirtysomethings Mahut and Benneteau paid off.

Victory gave 40-year-old playing-captain Zimonjic, who has not missed a Davis Cup tie for a decade, a 30th win in the tournament. In the contention for the spot in the elite division Vladimir Voltchkov's team may face one of the 2017 World Group first-round runners-up: Argentina, Germany, the Czech Republic, Switzerland, Japan, Canada, Croatia or Russian Federation.

France has not won the competition since 2001.

Troicki, who swept Carreno Busta in yesterday's second singles match, was the Davis Cup hero the last time Serbia played France.

  • Julie Sanders