The Davis Cup win for Croatia

Nov 28, 2018, 01:40
The Davis Cup win for Croatia

Croatia won its second Davis Cup title on Sunday when Marin Cilic beat Lucas Pouille 7-6 (3), 6-3, 6-3 in the first Sunday singles to clinch for the Croats 3-1.

That victory meant that Cilic, and fellow singles star Borna Coric won all their rubbers without dropping a single set or service game.

Cilic was part of the side that lost 3-2 to Argentina in 2016 showpiece and he was ruthless in ensuring his country did not suffer another heart-breaking defeat.

In spite of pushing Cilic hard in the first set, he lost the last four points of the tiebreak and never threatened a comeback.

In the 11th game already Cilic had a great chance to break Tsonga made a unforced error and gave the opponent the second set. Two went begging but Cilic would not be denied a third time as his glorious forehand lob put the disappointment of two years ago to bed.

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Croatia's sports-mad President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic was among the fans at courtside to savour a landmark title which offered some consolation after France beat Croatia in this year's football World Cup final. Cilic said after two hour and 19 minutes of play.

"This is the beginning of a new stage that guarantees the pre-eminent and legitimate place the Davis Cup should have as a competition for national teams, while adapting to the demands of this professional sport at the highest level", the Barcelona defender said in a statement in August. "We will see with the captain (Zeljko Krajan)".

"It s just a dream weekend, we all dreamed of playing as well all weekend", said Cilic.

They will be slight underdogs against Pierre-Hugues Herbert and Nicolas Mahut, who reached the final of the ATP Finals in London last week.

The French were able to claim a point in a match pairs.

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Next time the finals will be held from 18 to 24 November 2019 in Madrid, there will come 16 teams.

Earlier, the 12th-ranked Coric was flawless and Chardy was powerless to counter his deep groundstrokes in the first set, dropping 14 consecutive points at one point to trail 4-0.

In that match in Zagreb, he was two sets to the good against Juan Martin del Potro and required just one more set to give Croatia a match-winning 3-1 lead.

And when he broke the Frenchman's serve at 2-2 in the third, any lingering belief Pouille had retained quickly ebbed away.

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