Viktor Troicki sealed Serbia's first Davis Cup title with a straight-sets win over Michael Llodra in Belgrade.
Troicki, the world number 30, won 6-2 6-2 6-3 after Novak Djokovic had earlier levelled the tie with a similarly dominant win over Gael Monfils.
Troicki's success sent a partisan home crowd into wild celebrations after the 24-year-old, who was born in the city, had been drafted in to replace Janko Tipsarevic for the do-or-die encounter.
Troicki responded with arguably the finest match of his young career as he revelled in the home support and outplayed a French opponent ranked seven places higher than him.
The mood inside the Belgrade Arena had already been stoked after an emotional 6-2 6-2 6-4 win from Djokovic, who wore his heart on his sleeve in typical style.
But it was Troicki, rather than the world number three, who will be remembered as the man who delivered Serbia their first Davis Cup crown after his stirring performance.
Serbia captain Bogdan Obradovic made the brave decision to call up Troicki just a day after he and doubles partner Nenad Zimonjic surrendered a two-set lead to lose and give France a 2-1 advantage in the tie.
Troicki had looked nervous in the key moments of that match, but he showed no signs of making the same mistakes again as he rode a wave of support.
He broke Llodra, himself a replacement for Giles Simon, in the third game with the type of passing shot that would mark his success.
A second break immediately followed and with the crowd roaring their approval he sealed the opener with another superb winner.
Llodra reached the semi-finals in Paris last month, when he beat Djokovic, and he showed signs of his good form early in the second when he broke to go 2-0 ahead.
It proved the beginning of the end for the Frenchman, however, as he conceded the next eight games in the match.
Troicki was irresistible as he broke on three consecutive occasions to seal the second set before moving immediately ahead in the third.
The crowd were now in an expectant mood and Llodra looked willing to concede as he double faulted to allow a double break.
The Frenchman delayed the inevitable when he broke back, but it was short-lived as Troicki fittingly won the match with a cross-court backhand and spark the celebrations.
Earlier, Djokovic kept Serbia in the tie as he brushed aside world number 12 Monfils.
Monfils had started the match looking to sew up France's 10th title, but never looked like providing the finishing touch after he was blasted away in the opening two sets.
The 23-year-old held his opening two serves to love before breaking Monfils in the fourth game, with a trio of baseline errors costing the Frenchman.
Another game to love sent Djokovic further clear before Monfils missed his only chance of a break in the seventh game, before conceding the set in the next.
It brought a roar of approval from the home fans and Djokovic soaked up the atmosphere further during a one-sided second set.
Djokovic broke Monfils twice more to take it 6-2, with the pressure of the situation clearly showing on his opponent who meekly conceded the set with an ill-advised drop shot from the baseline.
That brought a series of fist-pump celebrations from Djokovic whose emotions began to work against him as Monfils finally showed some resolve in the third set.
The Frenchman broke early and while Djokovic immediately responded to level the set at 2-2, Monfils started to find his range from the baseline.
Some searing groundstrokes earned the Frenchman a second break to go 4-3 up and suddenly Djokovic looked the man under pressure as he responded by smashing his racquet into pieces.
But Monfils again handed the advantage straight back, a double fault not helping his cause, before losing a third consecutive service game to concede the match.