Lucas Pouille claimed victory in the decisive match against Belgium's Steve Darcis to secure the title for France in front of a partisan crowd in Lille. It's France's 10th Davis Cup but their first for 16 years.
Lucas Pouille hammered Belgium's Steve Darcis 6-3, 6-1, 6-0 in Sunday's decisive fifth rubber to clinch a 10th Davis Cup title for France in front of a passionate Lille crowd.
Belgium's ATP World Tour finalist, David Goffin, levelled the final at two points apiece after beating Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in straight sets in Sunday's opening reverse singles, but a revitalised Pouille propelled France to a first victory since 2001.
Pouille was beaten convincingly by Goffin in Friday's first singles tie, but the world number 18 shook off that defeat to swat Darcis aside in one hour and 34 minutes.
"There's nothing better than winning as a team, with my mates, in front of the fans, my family and my friends," Pouille told French television. "We're going to celebrate and make the most of it. I'm proud of my team."
The Frenchman broke Darcis, who had sent Belgium through to the final by winning the deciding rubber against Australia in September's semi-final, at the first attempt to lay the foundation for a memorable triumph.
That proved enough to wrap up the first set, with three further breaks in the second firing Pouille and France to the brink of the title.
Darcis, the world number 76, was powerless to stop a rampant Pouille as the 23-year-old dismantled the Belgian in the third set — winning 25 of 34 points — to end France's run of three straight finals defeats.
mds/mp (AP, AFP)