Pouille confirmed for Sunday singles in Davis Cup final

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Marin Cilic has clinched Croatia's second Davis Cup title by crushing France's Lucas Pouille 7-6, 6-3, 6-3 to give his side a decisive 3-1 lead in an historic final in Lille.

The first day of play saw Coric win his singles rubber against Jeremy Chardy, while Cilic put Croatia 2-0 up by beating Tsonga.

Prior to that, he beat Jo-Wilfried Tsonga with a score of 6:3, 7:5, 6:4, and Borna Coric was stronger jérémy Chardy- 6:2, 7:5, 6:4.

Pouille took Cilic to a tie-break in the first set on the indoor clay in Lille but could not mount a challenge in the next two, losing in two hours, 19 minutes.

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Cilic wasted four set points when Pouille battled back from 0-40 down at 2-5 in the second set but with his own serve rock-solid he calmly moved into a two-set lead.

The International Tennis Federation (ITF) believes this format, with matches played in best-of-three sets, will be more attractive to elite players who often pass on competing for their countries because of a crowded schedule.

Coric left the court for a medical timeout leading 4-3 with a break of serve in the third set but he showed no ill-effects from a hamstring twinge on his return and finished the job. Already secured their places in the final of the World group semi-finalists this season (Croatia, France, Spain, USA), and the remaining 12 will be determined by the results of the playoffs.

Croatia will enter the history books as victor of the last final played in the traditional format before the 118-year-old team competition gets a major revamp.

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Immediately the 30-year-old former U.S. Open champion was swamped by a swarm of his team mates as Croatia could begin the party after emulating its triumph of 2005.

We were both in great form at the right time.' The captain Peter Krajan said: 'This is the one of the best teams we ever had - it's like a dream team. I have seen a few generations of players, I have seen a lot of tennis, a lot of wins, a lot of matches lost too.

Next time the finals will be held from 18 to 24 November 2019 in Madrid, there will come 16 teams.

But there was to be no fairytale ending for French captain Yannick Noah in his last match in charge of Les Bleus.

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He hung on grimly in the first set, saving a break point at 4-4 with a lovely dropshot.

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