France have always been a nation that have boasted an abundance of talent in the sport of tennis and the latest product of the French tennis system,Lucas Pouille, put his own stamp on French tennis history as he led his nation to a 3-2 victory in Lille
The final win marked the first Davis Cup title win in 16 years for the French after falling in the final on three occasions.
After Jo-Wilfried Tsonga came up short in straight-sets to David Goffin, the pressure was completely on Pouille’s shoulders to deliver for his country under the most intense scrutiny.
The match was all about whether Pouille could hold his nerves and whether he could produce the tennis that has helped him find a safe place inside the World’s Top 20 and he played one of his most flawless matches from start to finish. The early break in the first set was a big moment. It enabled the 23-year-old Frenchman to walk with a bit more a strut and play with that self belief that has won him so many matches on the ATP tour. He did not look back from that moment onward.
An argument could be made that this could be the beginning of something special for France. If Pouille can remain concentrated and unfazed in a first Davis Cup final deciding rubber then that sets him up perfectly for the remainder of his career as he simply outclassed a below-par Steve Darcisin the final, winning twelve games in a row to seal the historic win in front of his home crowd.
The big difference in the two teams was France’s strength in numbers as we always see with the very good teams in Davis Cup. The contribution of both Richard Gasquet and Pierre-Hugues Herbert in the doubles played a significant role in the outcome over the course of the three days of action and Yannick Noah made the right calls for the benefit of the team in, not only his doubles selections, but also his decision to go with Pouille to play the deciding rubber.
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