Cilic gives Croatia Davis Cup victory over France
Croatia dethroned holders France to win the Davis Cup for the second time as Marin Cilic beat Lucas Pouille in straight sets to seal the victory. Cilic won 7-6 (7/3), 6-3, 6-3 to secure the title for Croatia for the first time since 2005. Pouille took Cilic to a tiebreak in the first set on the indoor clay in Lille, but could not mount a challenge in the next two, losing in two hours, 19 minutes. It meant Croatia won all three singles matches in straight sets with the scheduled fifth match between Jo-wilfried Tsonga and Borna Coric a dead rubber. France won a single match, in the doubles. “It’s just a dream weekend, we all dreamed of playing this well all weekend,” said Cilic. “We did not even concede a service (in singles).” It was the last final in the traditional format before a radical but controversial reorganisation of the venerable competition. The victory gives Croatia some revenge for their football team’s defeat by France in the World Cup final in July. “We can’t wait to be in Zagreb, like the footballers when they came back from the World Cup,” said Zeljko Krajan, the Croatia captain. Thomas Pieters and Thomas Detry held off Mexico and a charging Australian team to win Belgium’s first ever golf World Cup by three shots this week. The pair began the final day of foursomes action, where teammates take it in turns to play the same ball, with a five-stroke lead at Melbourne’s Metropolitan Golf Club. But Australia’s Mark Leishman and Cameron Smith narrowed the gap to two coming down the home straight with three birdies in a row, and Mexico’s Abraham Ancer and Roberto Diaz were also closing in. It set up an exciting finale. The Belgians restored their three-stroke lead with a birdie on the 16th but a nervy bogey on the next meant they had to keep their focus on the final hole. A perfect approach shot eased the pressure and they holed out for a closing 68 and a famous 23-under-par win, with Australia and Mexico joint second. Danish defending champions Thorbjorn Olesen and Soren Kjeldsen carded a 65 to tie for fourth alongside Canada’s Adam Hadwin and Nick Taylor (66), six behind Belgium.