Lucas Pouille defeated Belgium’s Steve Darcis to allow France to win their 10th Davis Cup. Pouille faced Darcis in the deciding final match and triumphed. The hosts began Sunday’s final day 2-1 up in the best-of-five tie, but David Goffin levelled for Belgium by beating Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 7-6 (7-5) 6-3 6-2. World number 18, Pouille claimed victory for his country with an emphatic 6-3, 6-1, 6-0 win over his 76th ranked opponent.
France won their first Davis Cup title in 2001 in front of a 27,000 strong crowd at the Pierre Mauroy stadium in Lille. 16 years later, after winning France her 10th, Pouille said “When Jo lost I was crazy in my head and I was like ‘go on, play your game, try to beat him’. This is a feeling from another world. There are no words needed, just look at the atmosphere and hear the emotion right now. I am so proud of my team, we really wanted this trophy. After 16 years, we finally got it, I’m very happy.”
France had reached three finals since their previous Davis Cup success. They lost in 2002, 2010 and 2014 to Russia, Serbia and Switzerland respectively. France Captain Yannick Noah said that the victory was the conclusion of “a beautiful adventure”.
Noah added: “I am so happy for this group, when you don’t win for 16 years there are a lot of things to take care of. We were just trying to play like a team. Even though we have a number one with Jo, to have Lucas playing the final game at home and winning us the Davis Cup, it was so beautiful. This is when his career is really going to start, he was fantastic.”
David Goffin struck first for Belgium by beating Pouile. Tsonga pulled one back by beating Darcis. Richard Gasquet and Pierre-Hugues Herbert handed the lead back to France by besting Ruben Bemelmans and Joris De Loore in four sets. Goffin was in fine form as he beat Tsonga and the two nations were level once again. Unfortunately, Darcis could not carry that momentum and succumbed to the pressure.