Marin Cilic wins Davis Cup for Croatia, France loses

Mae Harvey
November 28, 2018

After Nicolas Mahut and Pierre-Hugues Herbert won Saturday's doubles to keep the tie alive, Noah restored Pouille in a bid to take down Croatian talisman Cilic.

France's Davis Cup captain Yannick Noah, who oversaw his last Davis Cup match this weekend and will be replaced by Amelie Mauresmo, is also a fervent opponent of the overhaul.

Croatia had last won the Davis Cup when they beat Slovakia 3-2 in the final in Bratislava.

Victory for Croatia would give them their final Davis Cup crown since 2005, in the final staging of the historic team competition before a controversial change of format comes into place next year.

"For us it's a dream come true, for this nation, we are so passionate, you can see the fans are enjoying themselves". Pouille managed to save four set points in the eight game with a series of good serves before Cilic held his next service game to seal the set with a crosscourt forehand.

After wrapping up a second Davis Cup triumph for Croatia, Cilic was in buoyant mood and delighted in the performance of himself and Coric.

Noah had preferred Jeremy Chardy to Pouille in Friday's opening rubber, but the 40th-placed player lost to Borna Coric in straight sets, which further intrigued controversy about Noah's choice, considering that Pouille had won the decisive point for the 10-time winners against Belgium in last year's final.

But their hopes of a comeback were quickly dashed.

"Yes, that makes it special", said Cilic.

Tsonga faced an onslaught from Cilic in the opening set and had no answers.

Earlier, the 12th-ranked Coric was flawless and Chardy was powerless to counter his deep groundstrokes in the first set, dropping 14 consecutive points at one point to trail 4-0. After getting his legs massaged by Croatia captain Zeljko Krajan, he briefly left the court after the seventh game for treatment but did not look hampered once he returned. A backhand wide handed Cilic a 6-5 lead and the former U.S. Open champion wrapped up the set at love on serve. However with the home crowd noisily cheering Chardy, Coric held his nerve and his serve to take the set 7-5.

He opened a 5-3 lead then latched onto a Pouille serve to crush a forehand victor before converting his first set point with a dropshot of his own.

Marin Cilic beat Lucas Pouille in straight sets to secure Croatia's second-ever Davis Cup title.

"For me the least thing was to lose, very well, but with your head up, to go on the ground and fight me to the end with the means that I had today".

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