The Davis Cup’s final between France and Croatia begins this afternoon. For the first two singles, a surprising French composition, Jeremy Chardy and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, will respectively face Borna Coric and Marin Cilic.
On Lille’s indoor clay, Jeremy Chardy (ATP 40) is going to lead off, against an opponent better ranked than him, Borna Coric (ATP 12). He is a 22-year-old Croatian, part of the “Next Generation”. Coric has done a remarkable season, beating Roger Federer twice. It will be a difficult job for Chardy, who was unexpectedly aligned by Yannick Noah. Indeed, the French captain decided to rest Lucas Pouille, the French number one. Before his battle against Coric, Chardy, who canceled his honeymoon to be part of Davis Cup, explained: “Coric played really well this year. It’ll be very difficult but I’ll prepare my tactic with Yannick and I’ll give everything on the court.”
After this battle, the French player, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (ATP 261) will face Marin Cilic (ATP 7). Tsonga’s ranking is explained by all his injuries. The Frenchman is just coming back from a long absence… On Saturday’s double, Nicolas Mahut and Pierre-Hugues Herbert will play against Mate Pavic and Ivan Dodig, before Sunday’s reverse singles, if required.
“We know we’re playing a much better team,” Yannick Noah said. “Coric and Cilic are much better than us in terms of their results lately and during the whole season. We know we have to be not only good, we have to be excellent. They’re a strong team.”
It will be hard for the French team, to win the “Silver Cup” for the second consecutive year. But “impossible is not French”!
Louise Amrhein, IEJ3E