Goffin pushes Davis Cup final to five, but Pouille prevails for France

France’s depth and its home-court edge proved to be the difference in the 2017 Davis Cup final against Belgium. Four different players earned points for France this weekend as the host nation held off the Belgians 3-2 for its 10th-ever title in tennis’ team competition–and first since 2001.

Leading 2-1 going into Sunday, the French were extended to a decisive fifth rubber after a red-hot David Goffin took down Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 7-6(5), 6-3, 6-2. Lucas Pouille promptly came to the rescue for France and dismantled Steve Darcis 6-3, 6-1, 6-0 in a mere one hour and 34 minutes to give France the trophy.

A supremely confident Goffin had won fall-swing titles in Shenzhen and Tokyo while also finishing runner-up at the Nitto ATP Finals, where he beat both Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer. Belgium, although an obvious underdog, always figured to have a chance in the Davis Cup final with the world No. 7 at its disposal. And he did not disappoint, preceding his Sunday demolition of Tsonga by erasing Pouille 7-5, 6-3, 6-1 in Friday’s opening match. Tsonga disposed of Darcis 6-3, 6-2, 6-1 before a crucial doubles rubber on Saturday saw the French duo of Pierre-Hugues Herbert and Richard Gasquet defeat Belgium’s Ruben Bemelmans and Joris De Loore 6-1, 3-6, 7-6(2), 6-4.

Goffin briefly gave momentum back to the visitors when he pummeled Tsonga in two hours and 44 minutes on Sunday afternoon.

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“It’s a disappointment even if I played two good matches,” Goffin lamented. “When the team loses we’re all disappointed. We gave it our all. It’s tough to finish this way, but we did a lot of good things as a team this year.’’

Belgium simply didn’t have enough firepower from top to bottom, essentially featuring a one-man team. France, on the other hand, got points from Tsonga, Pouille, Herbert, and Gasquet. And this is a country that had the likes of Gael Monfils, Gilles Simon, and doubles specialist Nicolas Mahut on the sideline.

The Frenchmen captured their first Davis Cup title in 16 years, having last lifted the trophy following a thriller of a 2001 final in Australia.

“French people were waiting for more than 15 years for this–that’s a long time with the team we have, with so many good players,” Mahut reflected. “Year after year we were losing and finally we have [the title]. For me, it’s a special week and we need time to really appreciate the moment. We waited for so many years to get the trophy back in France.”

“I’m so emotional right now,” Pouille concluded. “To play in front of this crowd, in front of my family, my friends…. It’s a feeling from another world.”

12 Comments on Goffin pushes Davis Cup final to five, but Pouille prevails for France

    • Your heart got the best of your head? After the beat down he took from Tsonga on the first day I knew the Belgians had to win the doubles to take the DC. The doubles team put up a decent fight but they were simply outclassed.

  1. Unless Djoko does a Fed ( ie while he’s six months away, he’s secretly training more than recovering from any serious injury), I really doubt that he’ll reach the AO final.

    I think his elbow injury is more serious than Fed’s knee injury last season; so I don’t think he’s practicing or training too soon during his injury break.

    • Yep Fed seemed to do this as a precaution to extend his career. Djokovic, on the other hand, was just having bad losses and getting badly affected by the elbow it seemed. Roger did tweak it again at Wimbledon vs Raonic though.

    • Only Fed can pull that off.

      Djoko is no Fed in that department and his injury is much more mental than physical.


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