Llodra, Tsonga keep France alive against Spain

Michael Llodra and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga kept set doubles victory over Feliciano Lopez and Fernando Verdasco.

The French duo earned a quick 6-1, 6-2, 6-0 triumph Saturday on the red clay, giving France a glimmer of hope going into Sunday's reverse singles, still down 2-1 in the best-of-five tie.

It was all Spain on Friday, as Rafael Nadal beat Richard Gasquet and David Ferrer topped Gilles Simon, both in straight set.

The reverse singles currently call for French Open champion Nadal to meet Simon and Ferrer to battle Gasquet, although French captain Guy Forget said after Saturday's match it was not out of the question Tsonga could play singles, possibly against Nadal.

"There is a chance for me. I'm prepared," Tsonga said.

Nadal is 17-1 overall in Davis Cup singles play and 13-0 on clay.

Tsonga reached the quarterfinals at the U.S. Open before falling in straight sets to Roger Federer.

The winner of Sunday's competition will face either Argentina or Serbia in the final December 2-4. Argentina holds a 2-1 lead in that best-of-five tie going into Sunday.

The powerful Spaniards, captained by former French Open champ Albert Costa, have won four of the last 11 Davis Cup titles, while the nine-time champion French are seeking their first championship since 2001.

France, playing this week without its injured top star, world No. 7 Gael Monfils, was last year's Davis Cup runner-up to Serbia.

This is the eighth all-time Davis Cup meeting between these two proud tennis nations, with Spain holding a 5-2 advantage in a series that dates back to 1923.