Smith puts positive spin on Davis Cup exit

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Mahut's determination to see off Great Britain was clearly visible in the final set when he ended up in the stands after returning a smash and managed to send another shot back from there, although the point was wrapped up by the visitors.

Britain team captain Leon Smith defended his team who were champions in 2015 when Murray starred.

On Friday, Kyle Edmund lost the first singles match 7-5 7-6 (8-6) 6-2 to world number 17 Lucas Pouille.

epa05897127 British supporters during the doubles match at the tennis Davis Cup World Group quarterfinal tie between France and Britain at Kindarena in Rouen, France, 08 April 2017. That would make it more amenable for the star players to take part, as well as enhancing the brand appeal of sport's most venerated annual competition.

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Great Britain's Kyle Edmund knew he had a tough task against the highest ranked man in the quarter-final tie between his nation and France.

The pair, who are not regular playing partners, first won major silverware together back in 1999 in the US Open juniors.

In the semifinal France will face Serbia that secured a confident win over Spain in Belgrade 4-1. But Inglot held serve for 5-5. He did so with the unwitting assistance of Inglot, who was called for a foul shot when the umpire judged his racket had crossed the net in hitting an illegal victor.

And when Edmund double-faulted twice and dropped serve again in the sixth game of the third set, faint hopes of a comeback were extinguished. When Inglot got tight on a volley the first set belonged to France in just under an hour.

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Belgium had a match point to win the doubles and the quarterfinal in the fifth-set tiebreaker, but the Italians saved it and won the last three points. We've had lots of good days and these ones don't feel as good.

In game 12, Benneteau's forehand down the line made it deuce and brought France to within two points of victory.

"It would be great to have more strength in depth, but I don't really think we are close", Jamie Murray said. "We've got four in the top 100 and then that's it".

"It's a damn sight better than it used to be but there's still work to be done".

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