Friday 23rd November 2018

Event of the day: Day 1 of the Davis Cup final

Our event of the day is Day 1 of the Davis Cup final between France and Croatia at the Stade Pierre-Mauroy in Lille. The culmination of the vaunted ‘World Cup of tennis’ sees the two sides face off against one another in a best of five matches format, played over three days. These five games are comprised of four singles matches and a doubles match. The tournament pits two of the best sides in tennis against one another, with a French side that hasn’t lost on home soil in six matches and a Croatian side that hasn’t lost on the road since 2015. Hailed as one of the closest modern Davis Cup finals, be sure you don’t miss the opening matches, as Jeremy Chardy faces Borna Ćorić to begin the tournament, with Jo-Wilfried Tsonga versus Marin Čilić afterwards. France and Croatia are no strangers to one another in the Davis Cup. In the first round of the 2004 competition, a dominant French team, led by Arnaud Clément and Michaël Llodra, defeated Croatia 4-1 in front of a home crowd at the Arènes de Metz. 12 years later, the teams met at Krešimir Ćosić Hall in Zadar, Croatia, in the semi-finals of that year’s tournament. This time, Croatia would triumph on the back of an exceptional performance by Čilić, taking the match 3-2. The ante is upped once again in 2018, as they now meet in the final. France enter as the defending tournament champions, having beaten Belgium 3-2 in the 2017 final. Winning in Lille would mark France’s first successful defence of the Davis Cup title since 1932.

Despite winning the tournament three times since then, they have failed to defend their title twice, in 1933 and 2002. It would also be the perfect end to Yannick Noah’s career. The energetic coach of the French team has announced that he will be stepping down from his position after the tournament. Victory would also be a testament to the all-around excellence of the French team. They have played eight men, none ranked within the top 30 in the world, in their wins against the Netherlands, Italy and Spain. However, for Croatia, this finals appearance is about making amends for past mistakes. After beating France in the 2016 semi-finals, they went on to lose 3-2 in front of a home crowd against Argentina in the finals. In 2017, they were eliminated by Spain in the first round. With two players currently ranked within the top 20 in the world, Croatia will look to prove their worth on the world stage and win the top prize in international team tennis. It should be a great three days of tennis.

Honourable mentions around the globe go to the Third Test between Sri Lanka and England at the Sinhalese Sports Club Ground in Colombo. England have continued to strangle Sri Lanka in this tour of the island nation. Sri Lanka have lost the ODI series, the T20 and by losing the first two Test matches, the Test Series too. However, they showed improvement in the Second Test, losing by 57 runs in an exciting match that could have gone either way. This was a vast improvement from the 211-run defeat in the First Test and they will be desperate to secure a victory in the final Test. England however will look to continue their dominant run and start the Third Test strong, so be sure you don’t miss what is set to be another exciting day of cricket. Elsewhere, in the NBA, there is a clash of two red-hot teams as the LA Clippers host the Memphis Grizzlies at the Staples Center. In the NHL, the Philadelphia Flyers host the New York Rangers at the Wells Fargo Center. In NCAA football, the 111th Apple Cup takes place at Martin Stadium as 8th ranked Washington State host in-state rivals, 16th ranked Washington.

Whatever you’re watching, enjoy!

Fixture

Photos by ATP World Tour

 

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