Sunday, 5 February 2023

Davis Cup Qualifier: Croatia Leads 2-0 Over Austria

February 5, 2023 - Croatia took a 2-0 lead against Austria on Saturday in the Davis Cup qualifier at Zamet Hall in Rijeka. Borna Ćorić played first and beat Dennis Novak as expected, before Borna Gojo surprised the favorite Dominic Thiem for Croatia's big 2-0 lead on day one.

On the first day of the Davis Cup qualifier in Rijeka, Borna Ćorić beat Denis Novak (144th on the ATP list) 6:3, 7:5, while Borno Gojo was better than Dominic Thiem, once the #3 player in the world - 6:3, 7:6(2).

"I am very satisfied with my performance, especially when serving, which has not been at the expected level in the last few months. However, the feeling is slowly coming back," said Ćorić after his victory. 

"I think we both played well. In the second set, he put a lot of pressure on me, but the break at 5:5 broke him," concluded the Zagreb native.

"A good match for me; mentally, it's always a little easier when you enter the match with a 1-0 lead. Thanks to Borna Ćorić for making it possible for me. However, even though we are up 2-0, nothing is over. I hope we can finish everything already in the doubles, but one ball often decides that. Regardless, Borna and I are ready to finish the job if necessary," assures Gojo.

Croatia's national team coach Vedran Martić praised Gojo but warned that the winner is still not resolved. 

"Borna did a fantastic job. He served exceptionally well. He was aggressive when needed and defended when required. His volleys were better and better throughout the match. In the tie-break, he played bravely, going to the net. Then, when it was the most difficult, he pulled out some moves that the best players in the world do, which is the quality of a champion. I am looking forward to the continuation of the Davis Cup," Vedran Martić said at the press conference.

Although Croatia has a significant advantage, they need to be cautious. 

"An ideal scenario for us after the first day. Both our players played great matches. Ćorić, as expected, defeated Novak, and Gojo surprised Thiem. A tough doubles match awaits us on Sunday. Nothing is over yet. It's not football when you lead 2-0 and wait for the referee to play the end. We have to win the third point. Everyone in the team is aware of this, and there is no relaxation," warned the coach.

Vedran Martić adds that they do their best when everyone comes to play in the Davis Cup.

"Borna Ćorić, Borna Gojo, and Marin Čilić give their all when they play. All matches are open; we can also lose just as we lead. We have had excellent results in recent years, and we should be grateful for that. We are leading, but we haven't won yet," he pointed out.

The first match on Sunday starts at 1 pm. Doubles team Ivan Dodig and Nikola Mektic will compete against Alexander Erler and Lucas Miedler. 

After the doubles match, if necessary, Ćorić and Thiem should play, and then Gojo and Novak.

Source:  HTS

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Friday, 3 December 2021

Croatia Tops Serbia for Davis Cup Final!

December 3, 2021 - Croatia advanced to the Davis Cup final after topping Serbia in the doubles match in Madrid on Friday! 

After Borna Gojo took the lead against Serbia in the Davis Cup semifinals, the world's first tennis player Novak Djokovic defeated Marin Cilic 6:4, 6:2 and tied the score at 1:1, leaving the doubles match to decide the Davis Cup final team. 

Several dozen Croatian fans arrived in Madrid on Friday from various parts of Europe, including Sweden and Ireland.

In the first duel of the day, Borna Gojo defeated Dušan Lajović. 

"I had control of the match in the first set, but then I stumbled to 4:2, but the coach and the fans managed to bring me back and lift me to play better in the second and third sets," said 23-year-old Gojo immediately after the match.

"The Davis Cup is a special competition, the pressure is higher than usual, I played well here, but the most important thing is that I brought a point to the team," he concluded.

In the second singles match, Novak Djoković was better than Marin Čilić.

In the first set, Djokovic reached a break in the ninth game in which Čilić was 40-0. When he served to win the first set, the world's best tennis player saved four break points at 15-40 and gained an even better psychological advantage.

Djokovic won four games with two breaks in the second set and created an unattainable advantage. He reached a 6:4, 6:2 victory after one hour and 39 minutes of play. 

Čilić was judged by the poor realization of break points (0/8), while Djokovic used three of the eight break chances. 

It was the 20th match between Čilić and Djokovic in which Djokovic reached his 18th victory.

The national team that would secure their spot in the Davis Cup final was then left to the doubles, in which Nikola Mektic and Mate Pavic met Novak Djokovic and Filip Krajinovic.

The first doubles team in the world beat Novak Djokovic and Filip Krajinovic 7:5, 6:1, bringing Croatia the Davis Cup final! 

Croatia will play against the winner of Germany and Russia. The final is scheduled for Sunday, December 5, 2021. 

To read more about sport in Croatia, follow TCN’s dedicated page

Thursday, 2 December 2021

Croatia and Serbia to Meet in Davis Cup Semifinals on Friday

December 2, 2021 - The Croatian men's tennis team will play against Serbia in the Davis Cup semifinals in Madrid on Friday. Serbia defeated Kazakhstan 2-1 in the quarterfinals on Wednesday, although they lost the first match.

The first point for Kazakhstan was secured by Mikhail Kukushkin, who after three hours and 18 minutes of play defeated Miomir Kecmanovic 7:6 (5), 4:6, 7:6 (11).

Kukushkin was in a good position when he won the first set and led 4:2 in the second, but Kecmanovic's series of seven games followed, which gave him a 3-0 advantage in the decisive third set. The Serbian tennis player had two consecutive match points at 5:3, but Kukushkin managed to break and took the game to a tie-break in the third set.

In that decisive game, Kecmanovic was the first to reach the advantage, had two more match points, one at 6:5, the other at 7:6, but even then he did not finish the match. Kukushkin reached his first match point with two consecutive points at 8:7, but the Kazakh also missed four. However, he managed to get the 5th match point in his 12:11 lead on Kecmanovic's serve.

In the second singles match, world #1 Novak Djokovic defeated Aleksandar Bublik 6:3, 6:4, bringing Serbia equal. An hour and 16 minutes of play were enough for Djokovic to win against Bublik, more than two hours less than it took Mikhail Kukushkin to bring Kazakhstan to the lead with a victory against Miomir Kecmanovic.

The winner was then decided by the doubles match, in which Djokovic and Nikola Cacic defeated Andrej Golubjev and Aleksandar Nedovjecov 6:2, 2:6, 6:3 after an hour and 37 minutes of play, bringing Serbia the semifinal match against Croatia, which is scheduled for Friday.

Recall, Croatia defeated Italy 2-1 in the quarterfinals in Turin on Monday.

Germany also reached the semifinals with a 2-1 victory against Great Britain on Tuesday, and Russia and Sweden will play in the last quarterfinal match on Thursday. The semi-final match between Germany and the better of the Russia-Sweden match will be played on Saturday.

To read more about sport in Croatia, follow TCN’s dedicated page

Friday, 13 March 2020

Davis Cup Finals: Croatia Tennis in Group D with Australia and Hungary

March 13, 2020 - The Davis Cup Finals will be played for the second year in a row at Madrid's Caja Magica Tennis Complex, scheduled for November 23-29. The Croatia tennis team will fight against Australia and Hungary.

The Croatian tennis team will play in Group D of the Davis Cup finals with Australia and Hungary, the draw revealed on Thursday at the International Tennis Federation (ITF) headquarters in London.

Croatia was in the first-seeded group with Spain, Canada, France, the USA and Serbia.

Croatia pulled one of the toughest rivals from the second group, the national team of Australia, which is the 11th-ranked Davis Cup team, and Hungary, the 23rd best national team in the world.

The Davis Cup Final will be played for the second year in a row at Madrid's Caja Magica Tennis Complex, scheduled for November 23-29.

The title will be defended by the national team of Spain, which is in Group A with Russia and Ecuador.

The system of competition remained unchanged: 18 teams were divided into six groups of three, from which the winners and the two best of the six second-ranked teams will compete in the quarterfinals, which will begin the knockout phase of the competition.

Spain was better than Canada in last year's final.

2020 Davis Cup Finals (Madrid, November 23-29):

Group A: Spain, Russia, Ecuador

Group B: Canada, Kazakhstan, Sweden

Group C: France, United Kingdom, Czech Republic

Group D: Croatia, Australia, Hungary

Group E: USA, Italy, Colombia

Group F: Serbia, Germany, Austria

Recall, Marin Cilic saved the day for Croatia against India in the Davis Cup playoffs, celebrating 6-0, 6-1 against Sumit Nagal, and for the 11th time in his career, brought the winning point to the Croatia Davis Cup team.

Marin rushed through the first set in 29 minutes. The second set was even quicker, and the 22-year-old Indian player managed to retain his serve once and save himself from a 6-0, 6-0 defeat. It took only 56 minutes for Cilic to win the match and ultimately advance Croatia to the finals.


To read more about sport in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page

Saturday, 7 March 2020

Davis Cup Qualifiers: Croatia Takes 2:0 Lead Over India in Zagreb

March 7, 2020 - The Croatia tennis team is one step closer to the Davis Cup finals in Madrid.

Marin Cilic needed two tiebreaks to bring Croatia its second point in the second qualifying match against Ramkumar Ramanathan for the Davis Cup finals, which is played at the end of the year in Madrid. 

For his 40th Davis Cup win and 30th in individual matches, Cilic kept Croatian fans on their toes and saved a set-point in both tie-breakers against the 25-year-old Ramanathan, who proved to be a very tough rival.

In the first set, Ramanathan came to the advantage first in the tie-break (5-4). He also had a set-point at 6-5, which he wasn’t able to use. At 8-8, Ramanathan complained that Cilic was procrastinating and taking too much time to prepare.

The second set followed the same scenario of the first, with the difference that both players missed two opportunities to break. Cilic had his chance in the third and ninth games, and Ramanathan had both in the sixth. In the end, the outcome was again in the tie-break, which Ramanathan opened with a 2-0 lead.

Cilic returned the loss immediately and at 5-4 missed a forehand for two match-points. Marin led 6-5 and missed the forehand again to win.

At 7-6, Ramanathan had a chance to take the match into the third set, but Cilic completed the task. At 9-8, Ramanathan couldn’t save the third match-point. Cilic, coach Vedran Martic, the entire Croatian team, and fans in Zagreb could finally breathe a sigh of relief. 

Cilic finished the game with 20 aces and won 85 percent of his first-serve points

Croatia is missing just one more point in order to qualify for the finals in Madrid from November 23 to 29, 2020.

On Saturday from 3 pm Mate Pavic and Franko Skugor will play against Rohan Bopanna and Leander Paes in the doubles match, followed by the singles matches featuring Cilic and Gunneswaran and Gojo against Ramanathan.


To read more about sport in Croatia, follow TCN’s dedicated page.

Thursday, 27 February 2020

Davis Cup: Croatia Tennis to Play India in Zagreb for Spot in 2020 Finals

February 27, 2020 - The Davis Cup match between the Croatia tennis team and India will be held in the small hall of Dom Sportova in Zagreb from March 6-7. At a presentation at the Westin Hotel in Zagreb, the organizing committee confirmed that all preparations were in full swing and once again urged fans not to miss the opportunity to cheer on Croatian tennis stars at home.

HRT reports that the Croatia tennis team will meet the national team of India in Hall 2 of Dom Sportova from March 6-7, 2020. The winner will secure a spot at the Davis Cup finals in Madrid in November.

“The stakes are really high and India needs to be taken seriously, especially since they are coming with the strongest squad possible. We are not complete, we will wait for Coric until the draw on Thursday, March 4, but I think that without him we have enough strength to, with the support of our fans, record the win,”  said national team coach Vedran Martic at a news conference in Zagreb ahead of the Croatia-India Davis Cup series.

Borna Coric sustained a hand injury in Rio de Janeiro, but since it is not a serious injury, we will wait until the last minute, Martic added.

Marin Cilic (ATP - 36), Borna Gojo (ATP - 276), Nino Serdarusic (ATP - 295) and two doubles specialists Ivan Dodig (ATP - 10) and Mate Pavic (ATP - 16) will play for the Croatia national team.

India national team coach Rohit Rajpal is bringing the strongest possible lineup for the qualifiers against Croatia in Zagreb,  in which the highest-ranked player in the individual competition is 22-year-old Sumit Nagal (ATP - 127), and a strong veteran doubles team will consist of 39-year-old Rohan Bopanna and 46-year-old legend Leander Paes.

In addition, 30-year-old Prajnesh Gunneswaran (ATP - 127) and 25-year-old Ramkumar Ramanathan (ATP - 180) will compete in the individual matches.

“India will base their tactics on two wins against our other player, be it Gojo or Serdarusic, and they have a great and experienced doubles team of Bopanna-Paes if they play. But we also have a great doubles team, Pavic-Dodig, and I believe that Gojo and Serdarusic have a chance to record at least one win. Cilic is in good form, although he lost in Dubai. The good thing is that we also have seven days of training and getting used to the grounds,” Martic said.

The match will be played on a hard court in the Small Hall of Zagreb's Dom Sportova. On the first day, Saturday, March 6, there are two singles matches scheduled, and on Sunday, the doubles will be played first, followed by the singles.

“I am glad that the Davis Cup is back in Croatia again, and this is an opportunity for Croatian fans to finally see our best tennis players. I expect a win and a good atmosphere,” said Croatian Tennis Federation (HTS) President Nikolina Babic.

The match between Croatian and India in Zagreb will be one of twelve qualifying rounds, and the winners will join last year's semifinalists Spain, Canada, the United Kingdom and Russia, as well as the national teams that received the invitation, Serbia and France.

To read more about sport in Croatia, follow TCN’s dedicated page.

Wednesday, 8 January 2020

ATP Cup Sydney: Argentina Sweeps Croatia 3:0, Ending Quarter-final Dream

January 8, 2020 - The Croatia tennis team remains without the quarter-final of the premiere edition of the ATP Cup. 

After celebrating in the first two rounds of Group E, Croatia faced the worst-case scenario in Sydney on Wednesday. Namely, Croatia lost all three matches to Argentina (3:0) and thus ended their run in the group for second place. After losing both singles matches (Marin Cilic lost to Guido Pella, ATP 25th) 7:6 (1), 6:3, and Borna Coric lost to Diego Schwartzman (ATP 13th) - 6:2, 6:2, they needed a win in the last doubles match to be in the top eight as the best runner-up. However, Ivan Dodig and Nikola Mektic failed to record an important point and were conquered by Maximo Gonzalez and Andres Molteni - 3:6, 6:3, 10:2.

Cilic started well in the first match, leading 4:1, but then lost his serve for the first time in the tournament, and later the first set. In the second, he held on to 2:2, but in the end, it was Pella to win for the third time in their fourth encounter. 

Coric lost to Schwartzman in 75 minutes. The Argentina player saved both of Coric’s breaks, while the Zagreb native scored just 12 points on his opponent’s serve. It was their fourth encounter and Schwartzman's second win.

In the final doubles match, Dodig and Mektic quickly won the first set (6:3), though Argentina woke up, started to play and smoothly took the second. With complete dominance in the decisive tie-break, Argentina concluded the duel in their favor.

Thus, Belgium and Canada placed second for a spot in the quarter-final.

The quarter-final of the first ATP Cup includes Australia - UK, Argentina - Russia, Serbia - Canada, and Spain - Belgium. All matches will be played at the Ken Rosewall Arena in Sydney.

Final standings in Group E: 1. Argentina 2:1, 2. Croatia 2:1, 3. Poland 1:2, 4. Austria 1:2.

Source: HTS

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