France advances past Israel in Davis Cup

Julien Benneteau and Michael Llodra lifted France past Israel in the opening round of the Davis Cup with a doubles victory Saturday.

Benneteau and Llodra battled through a tough first set and rolled from there, posting a 7-6 (7-3), 6-1, 6-0 triumph over the Israeli duo of Jonathan Erlich and Dudi Sela, giving the host nation an insurmountable 3-0 advantage in the best-of-five tie.

The French had opened a 2-0 lead after Friday's singles action thanks to wins from top-10 stars Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Richard Gasquet.

France improved to 4-0 all-time against Israel. The nine-time Davis Cup champs haven't lifted the trophy since 2001 and will next meet Argentina in April's quarterfinals. The Argentines clinched their tie Saturday against Germany.