Fresh off a surprise final a week ago in London at the ATP Finals, David Goffin will lead his underdog Belgian team into Lille to face a deep French squad on an indoor hard court.
Belgium, runner-ups in 2015, seek their first ever Davis Cup title while France bid for a 10th and first since 2001.
Joining Goffin will be Steve Darcis in singles and in doubles Belgium will lean on Joris De Loore and Ruben Bemelmans.
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Lucas Pouille will anchor the French team in singles with Richard Gasquet partnering with Pierre Hugues Herbert in the doubles. Coach Yannick Noah opted for Gasquet over Herbert’s regular partner Nicolas Mahut.
Friends Goffin and Pouille will open the event.
“We’re friends and I’m sure we’ll be friends after the match as well,” Goffin said. “I’ve never beaten Lucas so I will try to find a solution to find my best tennis.
“I’m happy to start the first match again,” Goffin added. “I spoke with Steve beforehand and he preferred that I start and he played second. It won’t be easy, two years ago I played first in the final and I was tired. This time I will try to be a little more relaxed and play as good match as I can from the start.”
Tsonga is eager to do whatever it takes to win.
“If I have to play on all three days I’m ready to do it,” said Tsonga.
France has won four of seven meetings with Belgium, and their first since 2001, when they met in a World Group first round tie in Ghent which France won 5-0. Belgium’s last win against France came in 1997 – a 3-2 victory in another World Group first round clash in Ghent.
DAVIS CUP FINAL DRAW
Lucas POUILLE v David GOFFIN
Jo-Wilfried TSONGA v Steve DARCIS
Richard GASQUET/Pierre-Hugues HERBERT v Ruben BEMELMANS/Joris DE LOORE
Jo-Wilfried TSONGA v David GOFFIN
Lucas POUILLE v Steve DARCIS
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