France's Jo-Wilfried Tsonga defeats Steve Darcis to level Davis Cup final against Belgium
By Sky Sports Tennis
Last Updated: 24/11/17 8:27pm
France ended the first day of the Davis Cup final on level terms after Jo-Wilfried Tsonga recorded a straight-sets victory over Steve Darcis.
The French No 1 raced to a 6-3 6-2 6-1 success over his Belgian counterpart in one hour and 46 minutes to leave the match evenly balanced heading into Saturday's doubles.
France, who are hosting the final in Lille, began the showpiece encounter as the favourites boasting two top 20 singles players while Belgium are heavily reliant on the in-form David Goffin to secure an unlikely triumph.
Goffin produced an emphatic display in the opening singles rubber to hand the visitors the early advantage in the encounter.
The world No 7, who reached the final of the ATP Finals at The O2 last week, stormed to a 7-5 6-3 6-1 victory over Lucas Pouille despite a fervent atmosphere at the Stade Pierre-Mauroy.
Goffin needed just under two hours to give Belgium the opening point and never faced a single break point hitting 21 winners and 12 aces during the match.
France, under the leadership of Yannick Noah, are bidding to claim their first Davis Cup crown since 2001 while Belgium have never won the competition and last reached the final in 2015, when they lost to Great Britain.
The season-ending extravaganza ATP Finals at London's O2 ends another memorable year which we have covered on www.skysports.com/tennis with live blogs, reports and expert analysis. See you in 2018 when we return for the Australian Open.
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