Tennis: The French take home the Davis Cup despite David Goffin’s gallant effort.

David Goffin won the first reverse single 7-6 (5), 6-3, 6-2 against Jo-Wilfried Tsonga by saving six breaks and a set point.

 

David Goffin’s valiant attempt fell short.

However, David Goffin’s gallant efforts couldn’t bring home the Davis Cup for Belgium.

Tsonga’s only opportunity to turn the tide in his favor came and went away quickly in the first set. David Goffin’s recently mastered brand of highly aggressive tennis was freely flowing after the first and Tsonga, by his own admission, stood little chance thereafter. “I missed several chances in the first set, I should have been more opportunistic.’ Tsonga said. “After it was complicated, he played more relaxed and there was not much I could do,” he continued.

If David Goffin continues to play at this high levels, then he’d certainly be in the mix of contenders for the Australian Open 2018.

 

Lucas Pouille redeemed his Friday’s loss to David Goffin.

However, it was Lucas Pouille who clinched the Davis Cup for France over the weekend. The French victory substantiates the obvious that the Davis Cup is essentially a team sport, and the doubles tie can make or break the prospects of any squad.

David Goffin’s gallant efforts to even the tie 2-2, after Belgium’s loss in the doubles, had raised their hopes because Steve Darcis had won his last five deciding Davis Cup rubbers in the past, and had a reasonable shot against Lucas Pouille who was not at his best against Goffin on Friday.

Lucas Pouille, however, routed Steve Darcis to score a lopsided 6-3, 6-1, 6-0 win over him. Pouille’s inspired play in the reverse single, after his debacle in the opening one, is best summed up in his own words after the match. “Too bad for those who had buried me on Friday, I wanted to destroy everything on the court,” Pouille said.

 

Lady luck sided with Yannick Noah this year at the Davis Cup.

Yannick Noah, best known as the last Frenchman to win a major, was ecstatic with leading the French team to their tenth Davis Cup victory, and the first in 16 years. He could have easily been the villain if his gamble, to pit Richard Gasquet instead of the doubles specialist Nicolas Mahut, had backfired. The French team had it quite easy this year and benefited substantially from the absence of Kei Nishikori, Andy Murray, and Novak Djokovic in their ties against Japan, Britain, and Serbia. Moreover, the Belgian team had no real solid player except David Goffin.

However, the Davis Cup is a team sport where the outcome sometimes is decided by the weakest link. The French team may not have the top dogs, but they have a reasonably deep and seasoned line-up of players. Even Yannick Noah must have recognized this about his team while mouthing self-congratulatory stuff about changing the losing mentality of the French squad. “Over the past 16 years, everybody got used to defeat,” I had never felt that before and it destroyed me. I fully realized it during the semifinals. It was tough,” Noah said.