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Croatia clinch victory over France to win Davis Cup

Croatia clinch victory over France to win Davis Cup

France captain Yannick Noah is sending out Lucas Pouille to face Croatia's top player Marin Cilic in Sunday's first reverse singles match of the Davis Cup final in an attempt to keep his team in contention.

After a confident victory Borne of Coric over jérémy Chardy to build on the success of the Croats in the match against Jo-Wilfried Tsonga tried Marin Cilic.

Cilic, a former U.S. Open champion, gave Croatia a 3-1 unassailable lead in the best-of-five series on indoor clay in northern France with a ruthless display.

Pouille, 24, did not have a single break point and despite pushing Cilic hard in the first set, he lost the last four points of the tiebreak and never threatened a comeback.

Pouille played his part with some aesthetically pleasing tennis in the second but he was broken in the sixth game and, despite saving four set points two games later, he succumbed to the power of Cilic, who moved two sets up with a well-struck forehand.

But Cilic snuffed out that danger and turned up the power on his forehand to break at 5-5 before holding for a two-set lead.

The 22-year-old Coric needed a brief medical time-out when he led 4-3 in the third set but returned to complete a convincing win and put Croatia in front. The French doubles player Nicolas Mahut - who had supplied the most vibrant moments of the tie when he and partner Pierre-Hugues Herbert beat Ivan Dodig and Mate Pavic in Saturday's scintillating doubles rubber - also gave Haggerty an intense talking-to.




Cilic lived up to his status of team leader this weekend, winning his two matches without dropping a set.

Croatia's sports-mad President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic was among the fans at courtside to savour a landmark title which offered some consolation after France beat Croatia in this year's football World Cup final. "In Croatia it's going to be incredible too".

"For us it's a dream come true, for this nation".

"I didn't expect to be so tense after so many Davis Cup matches", the 31-year-old said of his 6-2 7-5 6-4 loss.

Next November a new format will see 18 teams assemble in Madrid for a World Cup-style event to decide the champion.

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.

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