Croatia ease to 2-0 over France in Davis Cup final

No amount cajoling from Noah or support from the blue-clad fans could help former world number five Tsonga fend off the mighty attacks of Cilic.

Tsonga was sidelined by a knee injury for seven months until September.

Tsonga had some troubles in training a few days ago but Noah has still put him above Lucas Pouille, setting up the eighth meeting against Marin Cilic and hoping to beat the Croat for the third time.

But the Croats were unfazed and excelled in front of a hostile crowd.

The 31-year-old Frenchman fought back gamely in the second set, though, to lead 5-4.

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But Cilic snuffed out that danger and turned up the power on his forehand to break at 5-5 before holding for a two-set lead. With the home crowd noisily cheering Chardy, Coric held his nerve and his serve to take the set 7-5.

Coric then held at love and built on the momentum with another break in the third game of the next set. After getting his legs massaged by Croatia captain Zeljko Krajan, he briefly left the court after the seventh game for treatment but did not look hampered once he returned. "It's not a problem, it's just painful", Coric said. France seeks the 11th Davis Cup crown and the second in a row, looking to become only the fifth nation with back-to-back titles in the last 30 years after Germany, Sweden, Spain and the Czech Republic.

Croatia's Borna Coric outplayed Frenchman Jeremy Chardy to give his country the ideal start in the Davis Cup final on Friday.

Croatia's Marin Cilic raises his arms after defeating France's Jo-Wilfried Tsonga during the Davis Cup final between France and Croatia, Friday, Nov. 23, 2018 in Lille, northern France. Croatia has arrived in Lille with the strongest possible squad, led by Marin Cilic and Borna Coric who will try to grab the second Davis Cup title for Croatia, motivated and ready to deliver their best on the surface that should give them the advantage over the host.

But it was the large block of Croatians high up in the freezing upper tiers who soon found their voices as Coric, hero of his country's semi-final win over the United States, took control against 40th-ranked Chardy.

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