DAVIS CUP TENNIS UPDATE • TSONGA, GASQUET, AND HERBERT PUT FRANCE ONE WIN AWAY OVER BELGIUM

Written by: on 25th November 2017
Print This Post Print This Post
France vs Belgium
DAVIS CUP TENNIS UPDATE • TSONGA, GASQUET, AND HERBERT PUT FRANCE ONE WIN AWAY OVER BELGIUM

epa06348533 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga of France in action against Steve Darcis of Belgium during their singles match of the Tennis Davis Cup Final between France and Belgium at the Pierre Mauroy Stadium in Villeneuve-d'Ascq, near Lille, France, 24 November 2017. EPA-EFE/YOAN VALAT  |

By Ricky Dimon

 

France is one victory away from its first Davis Cup title in 16 years, and 10th overall. The home team trailed Belgium 1-0 in this week’s final in Lille at one point, but a win by Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the second singles rubber followed by Saturday’s double success has the Frenchmen in control.

 

After an in-form David Goffin put Belgium on the scoreboard by erasing Lucas Pouille, Tsonga evened things up with a 6-3, 6-2, 6-1 blowout of Steve Darcis. That set the stage for a crucial doubles battle, for which there was some controversy on the French side going into it.

 

Captain Yannick Noah broke up the tried and true pairing of Pierre-Hugues Herbert and Nicolas Mahut, instead leaving Mahut completely off the roster so that a third singles player–Richard Gasquet–could join Tsonga and Pouille. Gasquet, a potential replacement for Pouille in Sunday’s possibly decisive fifth rubber (due to Pouille’s underwhelming display against Goffin), paired with Herbert on Saturday to face the Belgian duo of Ruben Bemelmans and Joris De Loore.

 

Noah’s decision cannot necessarily be deemed an impeccable one because Mahut and Herbert would have been overwhelming favorites anyway, but it won’t go down in Davis Cup infamy. Gasquet and Herbert made sure of that by getting the job done and holding off Bemelmans and De Loore 6-1, 3-6, 7-6(2), 6-4 in three hours and three minutes.

 

“You’re always worried because even though I think it’s the right choice, even if I’ve been playing for so many years and being captain for so many years, there are so many people here that are just waiting to cut my head, whatever I’m doing,” Noah commented. “You can’t help but be a little bit worried about what happens if they lose. They saved me.”

 

“We didn’t know what to expect, but we stayed together from the beginning to the end,” Herbert noted. “We got the win and we’re so happy.”

 

On the other hand, the Belgians have their backs against the wall. On the bright side, the visitors do have the benefit of a confident Goffin playing the fourth rubber on Sunday. Registering at seventh in the rankings, Goffin is coming off a runner-up performance at the Nitto ATP Finals–where he upset both Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer in the process. As for Tsonga, he contended for a London spot by capturing the Antwerp title and finishing runner-up in Vienna before falling short with an early exit at the Paris Masters.

 

“It will be tough,” Johan Van Herck, Belgium’s captain, admitted. “But we have two players who know how to play on a Sunday. We have the experience and I think David has the game to beat Jo. It will be a very high level match. One that is worthy of a Davis Cup Final.”

 

Ricky contributes to 10sballs.com and also maintains his own tennis website, The Grandstand. You can follow him on twitter at @Dimonator.

 

Topics: , , , , ,





10sBalls Top Stories

In Case You Missed It

ALEJANDRO’S FAVORITE PHOTOS FOR 10SBALLS FROM SOME OF THIS YEAR’S TOURNAMENTS thumbnail

ALEJANDRO’S FAVORITE PHOTOS FOR 10SBALLS FROM SOME OF THIS YEAR’S TOURNAMENTS

Jelena Ostapenko of Latvia hits a forehand to Kaia Kanepi of Estonia during her second round match at the Nature Valley International tennis tournament in Eastbourne, Great Britain, on Tuesday, June 26, 2018.
RICHARD KRAJICEK’S ROTTERDAM TENNIS TOURNEY KEEPS SIGNING STARS • WAWRINKA LATEST FOR ABN AMRO thumbnail

RICHARD KRAJICEK’S ROTTERDAM TENNIS TOURNEY KEEPS SIGNING STARS • WAWRINKA LATEST FOR ABN AMRO

Stan Wawrinka, former number three in the world, will be playing in the ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament for the fourth time, February 2019.
CALIFORNIA CHAMPIONSHIPS AT THE JACK KRAMER CLUB – DECEMBER 15 TO 22 2018 • UTR • ORACLE • AND AN AWESOME NEW TENNIS EVENT thumbnail

CALIFORNIA CHAMPIONSHIPS AT THE JACK KRAMER CLUB – DECEMBER 15 TO 22 2018 • UTR • ORACLE • AND AN AWESOME NEW TENNIS EVENT

The Jack Kramer Club is excited to host the 1st ever California Championships where juniors, adults, collegiate players, and America's Top Pros will compete to be crowned "Champion of California."
Max Mirnyi, Belarusian Tennis Star Retires thumbnail

Max Mirnyi, Belarusian Tennis Star Retires

Somehow we all knew the day would come. But it still seems weird. Max was such a constant on the tennis tour and in our lives. How did we meet? ️Maybe he remembers.
JULIE HELDMAN TENNIS ROYALTY WRITES HER MEMOIRS thumbnail

JULIE HELDMAN TENNIS ROYALTY WRITES HER MEMOIRS

A Daughter’s Odyssey is a fascinating memoir by 1970s world-class tennis star Julie Heldman.