Lucas Pouille, who is leading the French contingent in this year’s Davis Cup final has taken back his concerns after having questioned the decision to choose clay surface to host the final matches.
The Frenchman had expressed his concern over the choice of surface, citing injury reasons. Traditionally, clay courts are slippery in nature, making players prone to leg strains and injuries.
This, combined with the fatigue that many players carry over the course of the season, only increases the risk of incurring an injury at this stage in the season.
Additionally, last year’s Davis Cup final was played on hard surface between France and Belgium. The French side moved on to win that encounter with 3-2. At the same time, it is intriguing to note that the final matches for the 2014 and 2015 editions were played on clay surface itself. It wasn’t until 2016 final that the event switched to hard surface.
Nonetheless, the World No. 32 has come around the idea of playing the finals on clay.
This was after the French team captain Yannick Noah expressed his opinion that the Croatian side may not be as strong on clay than on hard surface.
However, if we are to consider the statistics, that may not entirely be the case. The Croatian side is being led by the World No. 7 Marin Cilic and the World No. 12 and the 22-year-old Borna Coric. While neither of them won a title on clay this year, the two players have definitely done their part.
Cilic reached the quarter-final of the Monte-Carlo Masters, semifinal at the Italian Open, and the quarter-final at the Roland Garros. As for Coric, his best run on clay came in Madrid where he reached the fourth round.
By contrast, Lucas Pouille and Jeremy Chardy – the two players leading the French side – haven’t fared that well on clay this season. However, they may seek some solace from the return of Jo-Wilfried Tsonga to the team. The former World No. 5 has had remarkable runs on clay over the years although, his present loss of form may be a bit problematic here.
The 2018 Davis Cup Final will start on November 23, with the last match taking place on November 25.