Sports Interaction Rooting France To Win The Davis Cup
2017 Davis Cup Final Predictions
The 2017 Davis Cup is the 106th edition of the tournament and features matches throughout the calendar year, starting in February. The tournament dates back to the turn of the twentieth century, and finalists Belgium and France were two of the first additional nations to be included in the event, which was originally a contest between the United States and Britain. Today there are 135 nations who participate in the prestigious event.
The final of the tournament will be played this weekend, commencing on Friday November 24th, and will be held in Lille, France. The home side are heavy favourites leading into the tournament, and it is easy to see why - the French have won all three of their contests 4-1 in 2017 compared with the Belgian team who were pushed to 3-2 victories in two of their matchups, and boast the stronger of the two lineups.
Below are the odds for the outright winner, followed by our detailed analysis of how each side made it to the final, the likely lineups, and who we think will lift the trophy.
Belgium Are Tempting Underdogs
Belgium have been moderately successful in the last few years. The team made it to the final of the 2015 tournament (their first final since 1904) and were subsequently seeded second in 2016. A first round exit in last year's competition meant that they would need to overcome a playoff to remain in the world group, but their 4-0 defeat of Brazil secured their position and they started their 2017 campaign as seventh seed.
Their first opponent was Germany, who they brushed aside quite comfortably despite the presence of top-five ranked player Alexander Zverev. Steve Darcis proved to be the match-winner, and a 10-8 tiebreak victory in the fourth set against Zverev secured an excellent result for the Belgians, especially since the match was played in Frankfurt.
Next, the Belgian team faced Italy, and welcomed back top-ten ranked player David Goffin to their lineup. His presence proved to be vital as he won both rubbers in a 3-2 victory, this time at home. The Italian team boasted two top-forty ranked players in Paolo Lorenzi and Andreas Seppi. Neither player won a singles matchup.
Their semi-final match was against Australia, who had knocked out the USA team in the quarter-finals. Nick Kyrgios was the trump card in the Aussie lineup but David Goffin proved to be the difference once more as he sent Kyrgios packing in four sets. The win set up Belgians third appearance in the final, but they will go in as major underdogs at +310.
France To Win Their First Davis Cup Since 2001
France has enjoyed plenty of success in the Davis Cup, especially compared to the trophy-less Belgian team. The French have won the tournament on nine occasions and finished runner-up eight times, including twice this decade. Their last win came in 2001 when they managed to defeat a heavily-favoured Australian side featuring Lleyton Hewitt and Pat Rafter. This time, it will be France who are the big favourites at home, offering a measly -606 for the win.
The French team kicked off their campaign with a straightforward victory over Japan in Tokyo that featured three straight-sets wins and a walkover due to injury. In the quarter-finals the came up against 2015 winners Great Britain, who have been very successful in the last few years. However, France were far too strong for a team made up of lower-ranked players and cruised into the semi-finals.
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga added extra bulk to an already strong French team when they faced Serbia in the last four, even though the traveling Serbs were without star Novak Djokovic who featured strongly in both the matchups against Russia and Spain. France once again cruised to a 4-1 victory and a spot in the final.
The Likely Lineups
Both nations have named unchanged sides following their semi-final victories.
France will feature Tsonga, world number eighteen Lucas Pouille and doubles experts Pierre-Hughes Herbert and Nicolas Mahut, with Richard Gasquet and Julien Benneteau on the bench.
Belgium will include Goffin, Darcis, Ruben Bemelmans and Arthur De Greef, with Joris De Loore included despite being injured since prior to the semi-final in September.
Davis Cup Winner Pick
Anything can happen in the Davis Cup. We've seen so many upsets over the years, and the Belgian side's semi-final against Australia was the most recent one - they came from 2-1 down to record victory in Brussels. However, we can't see them overcoming the French team on their own patch for the first time since 1952. When someone as good as Richard Gasquet can't get a run in the starting team, you know that the French side is going to be hard to beat. Pick the French side (-606)!
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