France overcome Belgium 3-2 for first title since 2001

LILLE, France, (Reuters) – France won their 10th Davis Cup title when Lucas Pouille crushed Steve Darcis 6-3 6-1 6-0 to give the hosts a 3-2 victory in the final against neighbours Belgium yesterday.

Pouille was never threatened in the decisive rubber after David Goffin had given Belgium both their points with impressive displays in the singles.

Les Bleus, however, had more strength in depth, winning a singles match through Jo-Wilfried Tsonga on Friday and Saturday’s doubles with Richard Gasquet and Pierre-Hugues Herbert.

Lucas Pouille

It was their first title since they beat Australia away in 2001 before three defeats in the final – in 2002, 2010 and 2014 – while Belgium have yet to win the title, having now lost three finals after defeats in 1904 and 2015.

Yannick Noah, the last Frenchman to win a grand slam title, celebrated his third Davis Cup success as captain after leading France to victory in 1991 and 1996.

“It was a victory we had been dreaming off,” said Noah. “It’s a united group. It was a tough weekend against a good Belgian team. Lucas played a fantastic final match.”

Belgium captain Johan Van Herck added: “I would not change anything. We have regrets about losing, it’s normal that we are disappointed after a tough weekend. In sports it’s never nice to be second”.

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