BELGRADE: Arnaud Clement and Michael Llodra came back from two sets down to stun Nenad Zimonjic and Viktor Troicki 3-6, 6-7 (3/7), 6-4, 7-5, 6-4 and give France a 2-1 lead over Serbia in the Davis Cup final on Saturday.
Serbia, desperate to win a first title, were in cruise control before the veteran French pair battled back, chipping away at their rivals' confidence and the patience of a demanding home crowd to clinch a dramatic 4hr 33min battle at the Belgrade Arena.
Nine-time champions France had looked to be down and out when they were down 3-4, 15-40 in the fourth set, with Clement furious that a fan had shouted out while he was in his service action.
But he was inspired after that testing moment and the Serbian pair wilted, with their last opportunity coming when they had two break points in the eighth game of the decider that they were unable to convert.
The final will be decided in the singles on Sunday when Gael Monfils takes on world number three Novak Djokovic, while the final rubber is due to see Gilles Simon against Janko Tipsarevic.