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Tennis: France, Argentina, Slovakia Lead Davis Cup

Former champions France, Slovakia, Croatia, and Argentina have taken 2-1 leads in their respective Davis Cup tennis quarterfinals series after the doubles competition Saturday.

In Sydney, David Nalbandian helped visiting Argentina earn two points by beating Wayne Arthurs in the completion of a rain-delayed singles match (6-3, 7-6, 5-7, 6-2). The 2002 Wimbledon finalist then teamed with countryman Mariano Puerta to defeat Arthurs and Lleyton Hewitt in the doubles (7-6, 6-4, 6-3).

Meanwhile in Moscow, Arnaud Clement and Michael Llodra gave France a 2-1 lead over Russia with a four-set doubles win over Igor Andreev and Mikhail Youzhny (7-5, 6-4, 6-7, 6-2).

The winner of this best-of-five match series plays either Croatia or Romania in the semifinals. Croatia took a 2-1 lead over Romania when Ivan Ljubicic and Mario Ancic defeated Andrei Pavel and Gabriel Trifu in a five-set match that lasted more than four hours (5-7, 6-4, 6-7, 6-4, 6-4).

In Bratislava, Karol Beck and Michal Mertinak gave the home Slovak team a 2-1 lead over the Netherlands with a four-set win over Paul Haarhuis and Melle van Gemerden (5-7, 6-3, 6-4, 7-5). The winner of this series meets the winner of the Argentina-Australia match series.

The winners this week will meet in the Davis Cup semifinals in September. The Davis Cup finals are scheduled for December.

Some information for this report provided by AP.