The French Tennis Federation wasted no time making a decision – and flexing its sporting muscles – as it prepares for November’s Davis Cup final against Belgium.
Less than two days after France defeated Serbia in the semifinals, the venue already has been decided.
It will be the same stadium as the semifinal against Serbia. But this time, with a different surface.
The country’s best chance at holding up the Davis Cup since 2001 will take place at Stade Pierre Mauroy. The venue has a tennis configuration seating of 27,000 and the tie will be played with the retractable roof closed.
The French won’t take a chance on the red clay again. They’ll install a hard court to try to take away any advantage for Belgium’s best player, David Goffin.
— FFT (@FFTennis) September 19, 2017
Per Le Figaro, the federation had seriously considered a brand-new (not even open yet) arena in Nanterre, in the outer French suburbs.
But the players, and the technical teams, know the Lille stadium inside out after last weekend’s semifinals. Attendance for the weekend topped 47,000.
The stadium also hosted the 2014 Davis Cup final against Switzerland. A record crowd of 27,448 jammed in for the deciding day on Sunday that went the Swiss team’s way).
Lille is literally just over the Belgian border. So the location makes even more of a certainty that the opposing team will do everything it can to acquire the most seats possible – and be the loudest it can be to try to neutralize the French home-court advantage.
The place will be shaking to its rafters.
Rugby fans displeased
Meanwhile, the more than 4,000 rugby fans who already had purchased tickets for a France vs. Japan friendly scheduled for the stadium that weekend can’t be too pleased.
The match was to be held on Saturday, Nov. 25. Instead, they’ll have Davis Cup doubles.
Le Figaro reports the match will be relocated to the stade Felix-Bollaert in Lens – some 25 miles away – on the same date. The French Rugby Federation has yet to confirm the move, though.