France, Croatia announce squads for Davis Cup final

Published by Reuters

Marin Cilic (L) and Lucas Pouille (R) headline the Davis Cup final teams for Croatia and France respectively. (Getty Images)
France and Croatia have named their teams ahead of the 2018 Davis Cup final in Belgium.

Lucas Pouille will lead defending champions France in the Davis Cup final against Croatia, who will be spearheaded by world No.7 Marin Cilic.

France and Croatia have both named their teams for next week’s Davis Cup final in Lille – the last before the format of the 118-year-old team event is changed next year.

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Holders France, bidding to win back-to-back titles for the first time since the 1930s, are without their three top-ranked players, which means world No.32 Lucas Pouille will shoulder the singles burden at the Stade Pierre Mauroy.

Captain Yannick Noah is without injured Richard Gasquet, Gael Monfils and Gilles Simon but Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, ranked 261st after a string of injuries, is included.

Jeremy Chardy and top-20 doubles players Pierre-Hugues Herbert and Nicolas Mahut complete the line-up.

Croatia captain Zeljko Krajan is able to name a full-strength line-up with world No.7 Marin Cilic and Borna Coric, ranked a career-high 12th, leading their charge.

Franko Skugor, Mate Pavic and stalwart Ivan Dodig complete the team as Croatia attempt to win the Davis Cup for only the second time after their 2005 title.

Croatia won the most recent clash between the nations 3-2 in the 2016 semi-finals.

Despite the absence of his veteran stars, France captain Yannick Noah remained unfazed.

“The only thing I know is that our goal is to win against the Croats,” he said.

“The mindset, the ability to adapt to clay, and the commitment to Davis Cup are what really matters.”

Noah, who guided France to Davis Cup titles in 1991, 1996, and last year, will step down after the final, with former world No.1 Amelie Mauresmo to take over.

Next year a revamped Davis Cup will feature an 18-nation finals week in Madrid in November.

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