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France, Croatia set up "inspired" re-run of World Cup soccer final
Published Sep 16, 2018
The Davis Cup final will be a re-match of the World Cup final as France and Croatia set up a meeting against each other in France.
The Davis Cup, which officially calls itself 'The World Cup of tennis,' will now have the same showdown as the soccer championship did a few months ago when France defeated Croatia to win the World Cup.
Though France completed a relatively straightforward 3-0 victory against Spain in the semifinals, they would not know their opponents until the fifth set of the fifth rubber in the other semifinal, where Croatia got a thrilling 3-2 victory against the United States. Croatia went up 2-0 on the first day before the Americans leveled the tie with a four-hour, 43-minute doubles victory by Mike Bryan and Ryan Harrison and a singles win by Sam Querrey against Marin Cilic. Borna Coric then defeated Frances Tiafoe to secure his country a trip to France to play the defending champions.
The final is also likely to be played in a soccer stadium—the Stade Pierre-Mauroy in Lille, where most of the big French ties have been played in recent years. The finals have had record-breaking crowds of more than 24,000, and similar figures are expected again if Lille is selected.
The Lucas Pouille-led French team is getting extra motivation from the country's soccer win. They even performed some of their dance moves following the semifinal—which did not go unnoticed by their World Cup winning counterparts.
"They have inspired us,'' said French captain Yannick Noah. "We want to sing like them. Lucas knows all their dances."
France is in its third final in four years, while Croatia is in its second final in three years. Both nations have previously won the Davis Cup.