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By Chris Oddo | Sunday November 26, 2017

 
Lucas Pouille

Lucas Pouille stormed past Steve Darcis in straight sets to bring France its first Davis Cup title in 16 years.

Photo Source: AFP

Lucas Pouille won the biggest match of his life and France has won the Davis Cup. The 23-year-old Frenchman answered the bell and picked up his nation after David Goffin had thumped Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in Sunday’s first reverse singles rubber, handing France it’s tenth Davis Cup title, and first since 2001.

"No words needed. Just look at the atmosphere and the emotion we get right now," said Pouille. "I'm just so proud of my team. We really wanted this trophy and finally we get it after 16 years."

Pouille dominated Steve Darcis from start to finish, emerging with a 6-3, 6-1, 6-0 victory to set off a wild celebration in Lille.


France ties Great Britain for third-most Davis Cup titles all-time and captian Yannick Noah can breathe a sigh of relief after guiding Les Bleus to a third title under his captaincy.

Noah had stirred controversy earlier in the week when he opted to include Richard Gasquet on his four-man roster instead of double specialist Nicolas Mahut. But Gasquet and Pierre-Hugues Herbert took the doubles point, alleviating tension on Lille.

But Noah wasn’t out of hot water yet. He had to choose between Pouille and Gasquet after Tsonga fell to Goffin. Based on Pouille’s lopsided loss to Goffin on Friday in Lille, the choice didn’t seem all that clear for Noah.

But he went with Pouille, the player ticketed as France’s next big star (and backed by Noah all season), rather than Gasquet, a veteran of 19 Davis Cup ties dating back to 2005.


It was the right call.

Pouille stormed to the first set behind 15 of 18 first-serve points won. He converted his only break point for an early lead and did not face a break point.

In the second set he had break points in each of Darcis’ service games and finally broke through for 2-1 when he converted his third break point of the game with a forehand winner.

Pouille broke again for 4-1 when a Darcis forehand found the net at the culmination of a long rally.

He broke at love for 6-1 and exhorted the packed house in Lille to bring the noise as he headed to his chair for the change.

The tidal wave continued in the third set as Pouille did not drop a single game, finishing the victory with 12 straight games won, and dropping to the court as he was mobbed by his teammates.

He was barely visible for a while, cloaked in a sea of Blanc, bleu et rouge, before he emerged to race to shake Darcis’ hand.

Goffin wrapped up his season with an emphatic display in Sunday’s first singles battle, delivering in the clutch in the opener by saving all six break points he faced before winning the opening-set breaker. In all, Goffin would save all ten of the break points he faced and he gradually chipped away at the faΓ§ade of Tsonga’s game until the Frenchman was functioning as a mere afterthought in Goffin’s power play.


Goffin improved to 20-3 in Davis Cup singles rubbers, and 6-0 on the season, but his efforts were ultimately not enough to stem the tide of the deeper, more talented French side.

Goffin made a lasting impression on this year's competition, but it was France who ultimately made history, and Pouille whose assertive tennis created the most indelible moments, to be savored for years to come.


 

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