Davis Cup Final 2017: Format, Rules, Players and France vs. Belgium Schedule

Gill Clark@@gillclarkyFeatured Columnist INovember 23, 2017

David Goffin of Belgium
David Goffin of BelgiumDENIS CHARLET/Getty Images

France take on Belgium in the 2017 Davis Cup final, starting on Friday at the Stade Pierre Mauroy in Lille, France.

Yannick Noah captains the French side, who are looking for their first Davis Cup win in 16 years.

His team consists of Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, Lucas Pouille, Pierre-Hugues Herbert and Nicolas Mahut, with Richard Gasquet and Julien Benneteau as replacements.

Belgium have never won the tournament but were runners-up to Great Britain two years ago. 

Captain Johan Van Herck has kept faith with the same team that saw off Australia in the semi-finals: David Goffin, Steve Darcis, Ruben Bemelmans and Arthur De Greef.    

Here is the schedule for the final, which runs from Friday to Sunday:

Dates: Friday, November 24-Sunday, November 26

Day 1: 1 p.m. GMT, 8 a.m. ET

Day 2: 2 p.m. GMT, 9 a.m. ET

Day 3: 1:30 p.m. GMT, 8:30 a.m. ET

       

Format

The final consists of five matches: two singles matches on Friday, a doubles fixture on Saturday and then the reverse singles on Sunday.

A team scores a point for every match won, and the winners are the first to claim three matches. All matches are played in a best-of-five-set format.

        

Preview

Hosts France head into the final as the favourites, according to Oddschecker, and will again play at the Stade Pierre Mauroy, where they beat Serbia in the semi-finals.

However, while they used a clay surface in that match, the French have opted for a hard court for the final. The official Davis Cup Twitter account showed how it was put together:

The two teams have met in the tournament seven times previously, with France just having the edge, as shown by the Davis Cup:

Tsonga and Pouille will be expected to lead the French charge, while Herbert and Mahut have won all three of their doubles matches this season and will be tough to beat.

Yet Belgium can call on Goffin, fresh from his superb performance at the ATP World Tour finals in London, where he beat both Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer.

While Goffin was ultimately beaten by Grigor Dimitrov in a thrilling final, he has enjoyed a successful season and ends the year as the world No. 7, per Live Tennis:

Goffin proved at the O2 Arena he is capable of beating any player in the world, and he is also yet to taste defeat in four Davis Cup outings this season. He also boasts an excellent 19-3 career record in the tournament, per Live Tennis.

If the 26-year-old can maintain his form, he may give Belgium an excellent chance of pulling off a shock in Lille.

However, the visitors will also need Darcis or the likely doubles pair of Bemelmans and De Greef to step up if they are to take the title.

This looks to be a close contest, and although Goffin arrives with great momentum, home advantage and a slightly stronger squad may prove decisive for the French.

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