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France outlasts Austria to reach Davis Cup QFs



Vienna, Austria (Sports Network) - Jeremy Chardy provided the difference Sunday in France's 3-2 opening-round Davis Cup victory over host Austria.

Playing in the fifth and deciding rubber in the best-of-five clash, the world No. 55 Chardy overcame little-known Austrian Martin Fischer 2-6, 7-6 (7-4), 6-3, 6-3 on an indoor clay court at Vienna Airport Hangar 3. The 24-year-old Fischer replaced veteran Stefan Koubek in the Austrian lineup on Day 3.

Earlier Sunday, world No. 10 Jurgen Melzer kept Austrian hopes alive by pulling the hosts into a 2-2 deadlock with a gutsy 7-6 (9-7), 3-6, 1-6, 6-4, 6-0 come-from-behind victory over former top-10 French star Gilles Simon.

Melzer and Oliver Marach got a big doubles point here on Saturday when they bested a French tandem of Julien Benneteau and Michael Llodra 6-4, 3-6, 6-3, 6-4 to stave off elimination. France led 2-0 following Friday's opening singles in Vienna.

The French are now a perfect 8-0 all-time versus Austria.

Team France, which is captained by Guy Forget and lost to Serbia in last year's Davis Cup finale, played without its top-three stars this week -- Gael Monfils, former Australian Open runner-up Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Richard Gasquet.

The French are nine-time Davis Cup champions, while Austria has never won the coveted chalice.

France will tangle with European neighbor Germany in the 2011 Davis Cup quarterfinals.

03/06 15:43:15 ET