France and Australia are tied 1-1 in their best-of-five Davis Cup tennis final after Nicolas Escude of France upset world number one Lleyton Hewitt and Australian Patrick Rafter beat Sebastien Grosjean in straight sets.
Escude took three and a half hours to twice battle his way back from a set down to defeat Hewitt, 4-6, 6-3, 3-6, 6-3, 6-4, Friday before a capacity crowd at Melbourne Park in Australia.
Escude countered Hewitt's baseline strategy with a more effective serve and volley game on the grass surface. The Frenchman also defeated Hewitt in five sets at the (grass court) Wimbledon tournament this year.
Rafter also capitalized on the strength of his serve and volley grass court game Friday to sweep past Grosjean, 6-3, 7-6, 7-5.
Australia and France will play doubles competition on Saturday. The final will be decided in another round of singles play on Sunday.