Tennis-Serbia ease into Davis Cup semis

Zoran Milosavljevic

BELGRADE, April 8 (Reuters) - Serbia booked a Davis Cup semi-final clash with France after Nenad Zimonjic and Viktor Troicki beat Marc Lopez and Pablo Carreno Busta in a five-set doubles thriller to give them an unassailable 3-0 lead over Spain on Saturday.

The French, who took a 3-0 lead over Britain, will host Serbia in an emotional rematch of the 2010 final when the Serbians won their maiden title with a 3-2 home victory.

Zimonjic and Troicki prevailed 4-6 7-6(4) 6-0 4-6 6-2 in front of a noisy home crowd as Serbia's talismanic team leader Novak Djokovic watched from the sidelines after beating Albert Ramos-Vinolas in the opening singles rubber on Friday.

Zimonjic, Serbia's 40-year old coach and doubles specialist, made a barrage of unforced errors but Troicki, who shone in Friday's straight-sets win over Carreno Busta, inspired the home team with another immaculate display.

Having dropped the opening set, Serbia turned the tide after taking the next two and galvanised the crowd as they clinched the third without dropping a game as Troicki could not put a foot wrong.

Spain gave themselves a glimmer of hope of keeping the tie alive after taking the fourth set but were again brushed aside in the fifth, as Zimonjic finally matched Troicki's effort and held serve to seal victory in three hours 13 minutes. (Editing by Ed Osmond)

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