France's Benoit Paire reacts as he plays Spain's Pablo Carreno Busta during the Davis Cup semifinals France against Spain, Friday, Sept.14, 2018 in Lille, northern France. (AP Photo/Michel Spingler)

Davis Cup: Debutant Paire gives France 1-0 lead vs Spain

September 14, 2018 - 7:02 am

LILLE, France (AP) — Benoit Paire won on his Davis Cup debut and gave defending champion France the first point against Spain in their semifinal on Friday.

Paire beat Pablo Carreno Busta 7-5, 6-1, 6-0 on the indoor hard court at Stade Pierre Mauroy in the northern city of Lille.

Carreno Busta was hampered by a left thigh injury he picked up during the match and did not chase Paire's shots in the final set.

Paire looked very tense in the opening set and struggled with his serve, hitting nine double faults.

Carreno Busta broke for 3-2 but dropped his serve in the 10th game when Paire hit a fine crosscourt forehand winner.

Paire held his serve then produced aggressive returns and converted his first set point with a drop shot volley.

Carreno Busta was completely unsettled, and started to make too many unforced errors in the second set as Paire jumped to 5-0. Carreno Busta finally stopped a nine-game losing streak before Paire served out the set with an ace.

The Spaniard, ranked 21, asked for a medical timeout to receive treatment on his left thigh and returned to the court heavily bandaged. Things did not improve for the former U.S. Open semifinalist, who looked hampered in his moves and quickly gave up the fight.


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