From September 14 to 16, France and Spain will be closer than ever, at least in sporting terms. The Davis Cup semi-final, which will bring them together in these dates and for which Renfe-SNCF in Cooperation is an official partner, will place Lille, city where the event takes place, under the spotlight of the tennis world. Discover all what this meeting has for us.
What can you see in Lille, scene of the Davis Cup semi-final?
Located one hour in train from Paris, and close to the Belgian border, Lille is one of the most interesting cities in France. No wonder it was the European capital of the Culture in 2004, which brought an increase of the cultural life of the city, that was already very active.
With more than 230,000 citizens and more than 100,000 students, Lille is the third university city in France, after Paris and Lyon. Its proximity to Belgium together with the fact that it was part of Flanders for a time convert it into a vibrant destination, always full of interesting nuances.
The old town and the old bag, two of the points that also deserve a visit in Lille
Among its main touristic appeals, we can find the Palace of Fine Arts, perceived the second most important museum in France after the Louvre, and which houses pieces of arts by Goya, Delacroix or Rodin. It is also worth discovering Notre Dame de la Treille Cathedral, which original façade, finished in 1999, convert this building into one of the most photographed and surprising of the city.
The Davis Cup semi-final
France and Spain are two of the countries with more tennis tradition in the world. Besides being the place of birth of some of the most important tennis players in history, they both have won the Davis Cup more than once.
As a matter of fact, the French selection, captained by the former tennis player Yannick Noah, is the current champion of the competition, after defeating Belgium last year in the Pierre-Mauroy Stadium, the same place where the two countries will compete for the semi-final.
Concerning the Spanish team, it has won the Cup 5 times, the last one in 2011, and every year it is one of the favourites. Rafael Nadal, winner of several Grand Slam titles, is the biggest star of the team, captained by Sergio Bruguera.
The Pierre-Mauroy stadium, where the match between Spain and France will be played
September will be the month when both teams will compete for a place in the Davis Cup final, a 118 years old competition that has witnessed such confrontations like John McEnroe against Mats Wilander, who played in 1982 what is still today the longest match of the competition, lasting 6 hours and 22 minutes, or the amazing 6-7, 7-6, 7-6, 6-7 and 16-14 with which the Czech player Radek Stepanek defeated the Croatian Ivo Karlovic in the semi-finals in 2009.
This year, Lille will witness a match between France and Spain, where both of them will try to reach the final of one of the most traditional and prestigious sport competitions. Overcoming, effort and speed are three characteristics that the players will need to win. Three characteristics in which Renfe-SNCF in Cooperation has always believed and that, this year, as official partners of the competition, will be lived even more intensely. See you soon in Lille!