Lucas Pouille played the role of hero for France in Sunday's Davis Cup final, defeating Steve Darcis, 6-3, 6-1, 6-0, in the decisive fifth match to give the French a 3-2 victory over Belgium.
The win inside the Stade Pierre Mauroy in Lille gives France its first Davis Cup title since 2001 and its 10th overall. Here's more on the man who capped off an already impressive season with one of the biggest wins of his career.
The Lucas Pouille File
Residence: Dubai, UAE
Current Rank: 18
Career-High Rank: 13 (May 2017)
Best US Open Finish: QF (2016)
- Pouille played four Davis Cup singles matches this year, toppling Great Britain’s Kyle Edmund in the quarterfinals, falling to Serbia’s Dusan Lajovic in the semifinals and, in the final, losing to David Goffin before defeating Darcis to clinch the victory for France.
- Pouille made his Davis Cup debut in the quarterfinal last year with a straight-sets win over Jiri Vesely of the Czech Republic. He lost to former US Open champion Marin Cilic on the first day of the semifinal against Croatia before winning a dead rubber against Marin Draganja on Day 3. In total, Pouille has a 4-3 singles record over five ties. He has never played doubles in the Fed Cup.
- The 23-year-old displayed his strong all-court game in 2017, winning titles on three different surfaces. He captured a clay-court title in Budapest in April, claimed a grass-court trophy at the Wimbledon tuneup event in Stuttgart in June and defeated countryman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the Vienna final on hard courts in October. In addition, Pouille reached the final in Marseille in February and made it to the semifinals in Dubai and Monte Carlo in February and April, respectively.
- Pouille began the year at No. 15 in the world and has remained a mainstay in the Top 25 all season. He peaked at a career-high of 13 in May and looks set to end the season with a second consecutive Top 20 finish.
- Pouille reached the fourth round of the 2017 US Open. He defeated Ruben Bemelmans in the first round before winning a five-set thriller against American Jared Donaldson in Round 2. He rallied from a set down to beat Mikhail Kukushkin in the third round before losing to Diego Schwartzman in the Grandstand in the fourth round. One year earlier in New York City, Pouille made headlines across the tennis world when he shocked three-time US Open champion Rafael Nadal in the round of 16 in a fifth-set tiebreak.
They Said It!
“I’m so proud of my team. We really wanted this trophy and finally we’ve got it after 16 years. … I’m so emotional right now. To play in front of this crowd, in front of my family, my friends, it’s a feeling from another world.” – Pouille to DavisCup.com after his title-clinching victory.