France vs Croatia: Davis Cup Final Croatia will meet France again to decide tennis’ premier team event. Croatia will meet France in the Davis Cup final after defeating the United States 3-2 as Borna Coric triumphed in the decisive match in Zadar on Sunday.
Yannick Noah’s side will return to the scene of last year’s triumph, where they beat Belgium 3-2 to seal their 10th Davis Cup. The match will be Noah’s final game in charge, and Amelie Mauresmo will take over the captaincy in 2019.
Standing in France’s way will be a Croatia team led by world No. 7 Marin Cilic. The visitors have won the Davis Cup once before, in 2005, and were beaten finalists in 2016.
Dates: Friday, November 23-Sunday, November 25 Davis Cup Final
Day 1: 1 p.m. GMT, 8 a.m. ET
Day 2: 1 p.m. GMT, 8 a.m. ET
Day 3: 12 p.m. GMT, 7 a.m. ET
Final or funeral? Opinions diverge as France and Croatia meet this week for the Davis Cup title in the northern French city Lille.
It will mark the end of another too-lengthy tennis season but, more poiganantly, it also will mark the end of an era for the men’s team event that began in Boston in 1900.
That first final, played in trousers and whites at the original site of the Longwood Cricket Club, matched the United States against Britain over three days, with a best-of-five-sets format. The Americans, whose team included the competition’s founder, Dwight Davis, swept the visitors, who had crossed the Atlantic by ship without their two best players: the Doherty brothers, Reginald and Laurie.
The Dohertys eventually were persuaded to make the same journey, winning the Cup for Britain at Longwood in 1903. But 115 years later, it is the flickering interest of tennis’s present-day superstars that has led to radical change.
“At the end of the year, it isn’t easy to make in two, three weeks all the necessary preparation for this surface. There is a risk of injury caused by fatigue. In the end, they have made the best choice. We succeeded in having quality preparation and quantity. I think it’s the best surface for us if we want to have a chance of winning.”
Cilic does not expect to find it difficult adjusting to clay, despite coming into the tie directly from the hard courts of the ATP World Tour Finals at London’s O2 Arena, per the Davis Cup website.
“I will be ready,” he said. “We had Davis Cup ties already on clay immediately after hard court tournaments. I believe I’m going to be fine, adjusting my play, a bit more of sliding, running. The conditions indoor clay are slightly faster than outdoor clay. I will be fine.”
Cilic managed just one win in London, as he failed to make it out of the group stage. He beat America’s John Isner in straight sets but lost to top seed Novak Djokovic and eventual winner Alexander Zverev.
The 30-year-old will still shoulder Croatia’s hopes against France and will have fond memories of the last time the two sides met in the 2016 semi-finals. Cilic won both of his singles matches and partnered Ivan Dodig to victory in the doubles.The visitors will need their star man to provide the inspiration once again if they are to taste victory in the 106th Davis Cup final. France know exactly what it takes to win this trophy and will have the backing of a noisy home crowd in Lille