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Last Updated Tuesday May 22 2018 03:46 PM IST

Pouille wraps up 10th Davis Cup title for France

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Pouille wraps up 10th Davis Cup title for France France's Lucas Pouille celebrates winning the Davis Cup by defeating Belgium's Steve Darcis Sunday. Reuters

Lille, France: France won their 10th Davis Cup title when Lucas Pouille crushed Steve Darcis 6-3, 6-1, 6-0 to give the hosts a 3-2 victory in the final against neighbors Belgium on Sunday.

Pouille was never threatened in the decisive rubber after David Goffin had given Belgium both their points with impressive displays in the singles.

Les Bleus, however, had more strength in depth, winning a singles match through Jo-Wilfried Tsonga on Friday and Saturday's doubles with Richard Gasquet and Pierre-Hugues Herbert.

It was their first title since they beat Australia away in 2001 before three defeats in the final in 2002, 2010 and 2014, while Belgium have yet to win the title, having now lost three finals after defeats in 1904 and 2015.

Yannick Noah, the last Frenchman to win a grand slam title, celebrated his third title as captain after leading France to victory in 1991 and 1996.

"It was a victory we had been dreaming off," said Noah. "It's a united group. It was a tough weekend against a good Belgian team. Lucas played a fantastic final match."

Goffin gave the visitors a 1-0 lead by beating Pouille in the opening singles match before Tsonga leveled by defeating Darcis on Friday, the number ones both prevailing in straight sets.

France took the lead thanks to the pairing of Gasquet and Herbert, who had never played a competitive match together but beat Ruben Bemelmans and Joris De Loore in four sets.

Goffin was again a notch above the rest on Sunday, leveling for 2-2 against Tsonga with a 7-6(5) 6-3 6-2 win as the world number seven sent the tie into a decider.

The final match was anti-climactic as Pouille went for the throat, racing to a 3-0 lead against Darcis, who never seemed to stand a chance on the indoor hard court.

World No. 18 Pouille, who was born 75 km from Lille, held serve to take the first set and never looked back, claiming 12 games in a row and closing it out on the first match point when a sorry Darcis sent a shot long.

"There's nothing more beautiful than winning as a team in front of my friends and family. Now we're going to celebrate and enjoy it," said Pouille.

Read more: Sports | Wimbledon champion Jana Novotna dies after battle with cancer

The opinions expressed here do not reflect those of Malayala Manorama. Legal action under the IT Act will be taken against those making derogatory and obscene statements.

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