Croatia took a 2-0 lead in the Davis Cup final

Marin Cilic celebrates with team-mates after wining his second singles rubber of the final in Lille
Marin Cilic celebrates with team-mates after wining his second singles rubber of the final in Lille

28 November, 2018

Marin Cilic clinched for Croatia their second Davis Cup title by crushing France's Lucas Pouille 7-6 (3) 6-3 6-3 to give his side a decisive 3-1 lead and the trophy. Cilic said after two hour and 19 minutes of play.

"As long as we are not definitely dead, we always try to hang on to something", said Noah, who guided France to three previous Davis Cup final triumphs, but none from behind.

"My singles players not only didn't lose a set, they didn't lose serve in three matches which is an unbelievable achievement and shows you the quality that we produced".

6-3, 6-3 to secure the title for Croatia for the first time since 2005.

It was the last final in the traditional format before a radical but controversial reorganisation of the venerable competition.

Earlier, the 12th-ranked Coric was flawless and Chardy was powerless to counter his deep groundstrokes in the first set, dropping 14 consecutive points at one point to trail 4-0.

In the 2016 final, Cilic also played the first reverse singles with Croatia a point ahead, but lost in five sets to Juan Martin del Potro and Argentina went on to win 3-2.

Croatia's sports-mad President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic was among the fans at courtside to savour a landmark title which offered some consolation after France beat Croatia in this year's football World Cup final.

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"I'm especially proud of my players' mentality", said skipper Krajan. As far as I'm concerned, I'm not going to play in the Davis Cup anymore.

Former US Open champion Cilic struggled with his first serve in the opening set, yet still didn't face a single break point.

Chardy was outplayed by Borna Coric on Friday while Cilic beat Jo-Wilfried Tsonga who is a doubt for Sunday because of a muscle injury picked up in that straight-sets defeat.

He broke again for 3-2 in the third set after a Tsonga double fault, and held on.

But Cilic was in no mood for history to repeat itself as he eased to a straight-sets victory over Lucas Pouille, outclassing and overpowering his opponent to dethrone the defending champions.

"This time, I told them they were strong enough and that they would only have to focus on their game for this to happen".

After Nicolas Mahut and Pierre-Hugues Herbert won Saturday's doubles to keep the tie alive, Noah restored Pouille in a bid to take down Croatian talisman Cilic. Playing two sets is not the Davis Cup.

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