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Sunday, 2 December, 2001, 06:57 GMT
France win Davis Cup
Nicolas Escude, who won the deciding match
Escude has won all of his singles matches in the Davis Cup
Davis Cup second reverse singles:
France beat Australia 7-6 6-7 6-3 6-3

France have won the Davis Cup with victory in the final match over Australia.

Nicolas Escude maintained his 100% Davis Cup singles record with his eighth win in the tournament.

Australia's late replacement, Wayne Arthurs, never really found his feet in a match dominated by serve.

Arthurs, the world number 64, came in at the 11th hour as a replacement for Pat Rafter who withdrew with an arm injury.

The two players held serve throughout the first two sets which both went into tie-breaks.

Escude took the first before Arthurs played his best tennis of the match to take the second.

Having saved break points throughout the first set and six in the opening game of the second, the Australian turned the tables and forced Escude to come up with game saving points.

However, despite the support of the home crowd, Arthurs could not maintain the momentum he had built through to the third set.

A single break, the first of the match on Escude's 12th opportunity, was enough to give the Frenchman the third set, and when he broke in the seventh game of the fourth, victory was all but assured.

Arthurs served to stay in the game and although Escude found the net with his first championship point, he made no mistake at the second time of asking.

A backhand volley gave France their fourth and most important away victory in the competition this year and prompted Guy Forget and his team to run on court and mob Escude.

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
BBC Sport's Chris Bowers
"France unexpectedly won a dramatic sporting spectacle"
France's Nicolas Escude
"It has been my dream to win the Davis Cup"
Australia's Lleyton Hewitt
"We'll be back next year, stronger and better"
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