France and Belgium to Meet in 2017 Davis Cup Final
Steen Kirby, Tennis Atlantic
European neighbors France and Belgium will face off in the 2017 Davis Cup final, as the depth of France will contrast with the team spirit of Belgium. The French saw off an outmatched Serbian side in the semifinals 3-1. Pierre-Hugues Herbert and Nicolas Mahut combined to take the doubles rubber, and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga won both his singles rubbers against Laslo Djere and Dusan Lajovic, making Lajovic’s win against Lucas Pouille in the opening rubber a moot point. Belgium had a great Sunday against Australia, winning the final 2 rubbers for a 3-2 victory in the tie. David Goffin and Steve Darcis combined to defeat Nick Kyrgios and Jordan Thompson in the Sunday rubbers, dropping just one set between them. John Peers and Jordan Thompson won the doubles rubber for Australia, Kyrgios beat Darcis on Friday, and Goffin defeated Millman in the opening rubber, as Goffin was the hero of the tie.
In the World Group Playoffs, young gun Denis Shapovalov led Canada to a 3-2 win over India, Marton Fucsovics led Hungary to a 3-1 upset of Russia, Yuichi Sugita got a pair of wins to help Japan beat Brazil 3-1, Cedrik-Marcel Stebe and Jan-Lennard Struff led a depleted Germany to a 3-2 win over Portugal, veteran Marco Chiudinelli starred for Switzerland as they defeated Belarus 3-2, Marin Cilic won two singles rubbers and the doubles rubber to help Croatia defeat Colombia 4-1. Holland and Kazahkstan were the upset victors in the playoffs. The Dutch led by Robin Haase won the doubles rubber and the last two singles rubbers for a 3-2 win over the Czech Republic. Thiemo De Bakker defeated Lukas Rosol in the decisive 5th rubber. Mikhail Kukushkin was a double victor for the Kazakh’s against Argentina in a 3-2 win.
South Africa, Sweden, Barbados, and Pakistan reached Group 1 for 2018 in their respective regions.