France won their 10th Davis Cup title after Lucas Pouille beat Belgium’s Steve Darcis in a decisive final rubber in Lille on Sunday.
Pouille’s cruised to a comfortable 6-3 6-1 6-0 victory over an opponent ranked 76th and give his country a 3-2 win over their neighbours and a first title since 2001.
France had reached three finals since their previous Davis Cup success losing in 2002, 2010 and 2014.
France started the final day of singles with a 2-1 lead in the best-of-five tie, but David Goffin overcame Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 7-6 (7-5) 6-3 6-2 to take it to a decider.
The world number 18 Pouille entered the match having lost his past two Davis Cup matches, including a one-hour, 59-minute defeat at the hands of David Goffin on Friday. His opponent, Darcis, had previously been 5-0 in live fifth rubbers, including clinching Belgium’s spot in the final this year as well as in 2015.
But the 23-year-old overwhelmed Darcis with power from the baseline that the veteran had no answer for.
It was the second year in a row that the Davis Cup Final came down to a live fifth rubber, with Argentina defeating Croatia 3-2 last year.