Davis Cup Final Preview: Belgium vs France

November 9, 2017 1:08 pm

The Davis Cup has been running for a while since the 3rd of February. After the entire shakedown, it was Belgium and France who emerged to become the finalists. France and Belgium will meet in the Davis Cup final for the first time since 2001 when they go head-to-head in the Davis Cup by BNP Paribas Final at the Stade Pierre Mauroy in Lille. France is aiming for its 10th Davis Cup title, it’s first since 2001. If they do, they will join Great Britain in joint third-place on the all-time list of Davis Cup champions. Belgium is eyeing its maiden title in only its third appearance in the Final. They have finished runner-up in both 1904 and 2015.

France has won the two most recent encounters between the two nations. The first was in the World Group first round in Pau in 1999. A second encounter was during the World Group semifinals in Ghent in 2001. The Belgians have not won a tie on French soil since 1952, when they won 3-2 on the clay of Roland Garros. France progressed to the title decider following a 3-1 victory over Serbia in Lille. Belgium recovered from 1-2 down to defeat Australia in a thrilling tie in Brussels. Given the head-to-head history between the two nations, the odds are stacked in Belgium’s favour for the Davis Cup Final.

Belgium Squad

David Goffin reacts during semi-finals Davis cup match

The Belgian team includes David Goffin, Steve Darcis, Ruben Bemelmans, Joris de Loore and Arthur de Greef. Goffin is the key player for Belgium and he has 4 wins and no losses in the Davis Cup this year. Darcis has won 4 matches and lost once. Neither player has played in the doubles. Bemelmans has had one win each in singles and doubles as well as 2 losses. De Loore and de Greef are more attuned to doubles but only the former has tasted victory.

Road to Davis Cup Final

Belgium defeated Germany 4-1 in the first round with the only loss being De Greef losing to Alexander Zverev. The Encounter with Italy was a little closer with the Belgians winning 3-2. A double win for Goffin and a single win from Darcis was enough to seal the deal. The semifinal clash against Australia was a tough nut to crack. Goffin won twice and Darcis snagged a 3rd victory after losing to Nick Krygios earlier.

France Squad

The French have a much larger squad compared to their rivals. It consists of Nicolas Mahut, Jo Wilfried Tsonga, Jeremy Chardy, Pierre Hugues Herbert, Richard Gasquet, Gilles Simon, Julien Benneteau and Lucas Pouille. Undoubtedly, France have much more firepower than their neighbours. Tsonga and Chardy have 2 wins on the singles front. Mahut is their best player on the doubles front with a win record of 3-0.

Road to Finals

France started off with a 4-1 win over Japan and their only loss was a singles match between Pierre Hugues Herbert and Yasutaka Uchiyama. Their next opponents were Great Britain. With Andy Murray absent, this was a big opportunity for France and they grabbed it with both hands. The French won 4-1 with Julien Benneteau being the only faller. Their final opponent was Serbia in the semifinals. With no Novak Djokovic, France could hardly believe their luck. The Serbians drew first blood when Dusan Lajovic defeated Lucas Pouille. But France fought back and closed out the match 3-1. The last match between Lasio Djere and Lucas Pouille was not played.

With all this in mind, who will come out on top on the 26th of November?

Dhruv George

Dhruv George is a senior Formula One and NASCAR analyst for EssentiallySports, having authored nearly 12000 articles spanning different sports like F1, NASCAR, Tennis, NFL, and eSports. He graduated with a PG Diploma in Journalism from the Xavier Institute of Communications. Dhruv has also conducted interviews with F1 driver Pierre Gasly and Moto2 rider Tony Arbolino. He has been an ardent follower of motorsports sport since 2001, holding Carlos Sainz Jr. and McLaren in high regard.

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