By Jake Davies
- France lead the Davis Cup final 2-1 with just two singles rubbers to be played
- Gasquet and Herbert defeat Bemelmans and De Loore 6-1, 3-6, 7-6 (2), 6-4
- Jo-Wilfried Tsonga vs David Goffin
- Lucas Pouille vs Steve Darcis
LILLE, FRANCE – France move into the final day of the Davis Cup Final needing just the one victory to lift their first Davis Cup title in sixteen years.
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Richard Gasquet & Pierre-Hugues Herbert def. Ruben Bemelmans & Joris De Loore 6-1, 3-6, 7-6 (2), 6-4
Yannick Noah’s decision to put his faith in Richard Gasquet seemed to pay off as Gasquet played a significant role in his nation’s four-set victory of Belgium in the doubles rubber. It was a big call made by Noah. He could have gone with the safe option of putting the experienced doubles team of Nicolas Mahut and Pierre-Hugues Herbert together, who have won two major titles together, but Noah elected to drop Mahut for Gasquet in a risky move at first.
Gasquet shone in the first set, where he displayed his unbelievable array of shotmaking from the baseline, finding unbelievable one-handed backhand strikes that only he can really do. And Gasquet reminded everyone, that not only was he an additional option in the singles, but he can also contribute for his team on a doubles court.
The Belgians responded in the second set after losing the first set with relative ease. The turning point came in the third set, where Ruben Bemelmans could not find a first serve when serving for the third set and their French opposition punished them for it by winning 3 of the next four games to win the third set.
The French would go on to win the match in four-sets and now are in pole position to win a historic Davis Cup title on Sunday.
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Jo-Wilfried Tsonga vs David Goffin
I think the fourth rubber is the big one in this tie. It is the match-up that stood out the most at the beginning of the tie and both countries will be hoping that their leading man can bring home the goods. The pressure is firmly on Belgium as France have two chances to claim the title, while Belgium cannot afford any slip ups on the final day of the Davis Cup final.
The key to victory for David Goffin is to do what he does best. He loves to take the ball early in order to take time away from his opponents and if he can isolate the Tsonga backhand then he stands a very good chance of getting revenge for the Rotterdam final loss he suffered at the hands of the Frenchman.
Prediction: Goffin in four sets
Lucas Pouille vs Steve Darcis
The fifth and final rubber would be a dramatic and apt way to finish the 2017 Davis Cup final. Lucas Pouille would be itching to put things right after a heavy defeat to Goffin in the opening rubber and would want to be the guy that clinched an heroic and memorable Davis Cup victory for his country.
On paper, Pouille is the favourite to come through a potential match against Steve Darcis, but Darcis has shown that he can cause a few upsets, particularly in a Davis Cup setting this year.
Prediction: Pouille in four sets
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