Sunday, 5 December 2021

Davis Cup Final: Croatia Tennis is 2nd Best in World

December 5, 2021 - Croatia is the second-best tennis team in the world after Russia celebrated in the Davis Cup final on Sunday in Madrid.

Russia celebrated the Davis Cup title after beating Croatia 2-0 in the final, winning both singles matches.

After Andrey Rublev defeated Borna Gojo 6:4, 7:6 (5) in the first match, bringing Russia the first point, Daniil Medvedev, the second-best tennis player in the world, defeated Marin Čilić 7:6 (7), 6:2, thus securing the Cup for Russia. 

Čilić played an excellent first set but failed to hold his momentum in the second against this year's US Open winner. 

In the first six games, both servers were efficient to reach a 3:3 score. In the seventh game, Čilić faced his first break point and ultimately missed a break point for 5:3.

The decision fell in the tie-break where Čilić led 4:2 but did not reach a single set point. Medvedev, on the other hand, used his third.

In the second set, Medvedev quickly reached a break and took a 3:1 lead which opened the door to victory. The Russian tennis player did not back down again and at 5:2 broke Čilić for the win and Russia's Davis Cup title. 

Croatia had a brilliant Davis Cup campaign this year, beating Australia and Hungary in the group stage, before topping Italy in the quarters and Serbia in the semifinal for a spot in the final this year. Recall, Croatia played without one of its top tennis players in this tournament - Borna Ćorić. 

Croatia thus remains on the two Davis Cup trophies. Croatia won the Cup in 2005 and 2018, and in addition to this final, they played and lost the final in 2016 (against Argentina in Zagreb).

This is the third Davis Cup trophy for Russia. They celebrated in 2002 and 2006. In addition to these victories, Russia has lost three finals (1994, 1995, and 2007).

DAVIS CUP FINAL:

RUSSIA - CROATIA 2-0

Medvedev - Čilić 7:6 (7), 6:2 
Rublev - Gojo 6:4, 7:6 (5)

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

 

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

Monday, 29 November 2021

Croatia Tops Italy for Davis Cup Semi-final Spot!

November 29, 2021 - Nikola Mektić and Mate Pavić secured Croatia's Davis Cup semi-final spot in Turin on Monday! 

In the first singles match of the Davis Cup quarterfinals in Turin on Monday, Borna Gojo defeated Lorenzo Sonega 7-6 (2), 2-6, 6-2, and Croatia took the lead against Italy (1-0). Marin Čilić, on the other hand, lost to Jannik Sinner 3-6, 7-6, 6-3 in the second singles match, leaving the doubles to decide who would book a spot in the Davis Cup semifinal. 

Borna Gojo (ATP-279) brought Croatia the first point, although his opponent was the 27th tennis player in the world and a big favorite in this match. However, Gojo managed to surprise his rival with brave play to bring Croatia closer to the semifinal.

The 10th tennis player in the world, Italy's Jannik Sinner, won the second singles match, topping Marin Čilić, 6-3, 6-7 (4), 3-6 to bring Italy and Croatia even (1-1). Čilić failed to take Croatia to the semifinals, although he served for the match in the second set. This was the first meeting between Čilić and Sinner. 

Nikola Mektić and Mate Pavić faced Fabio Fognini and Jannik Sinner in the doubles match that concluded the quarterfinal meeting. The Croatian duo and best doubles team in the world this year won 6-3, 6-4 to take Croatia to the Davis Cup semifinal! Croatia will play either Serbia or Kazakhstan in the semifinal. 

Croatia has played in the semifinals of the Davis Cup four times so far and has won two titles.

In all three previous clashes between these two national teams, Italy had 3 wins to Croatia's 2. Only in Rome in 2001, the decision fell before the fifth match. In Dubrovnik in 2008, Mario Ančić defeated Simone Bolleli 3-2, and in Turin in 2013, Fognini was better than Ivan Dodig after five sets.

Croatia, as the last winner of the 'old' Davis Cup in 2018 against France, could not repeat their success in Madrid two years ago. In a difficult group against Spain and Russia, they lost both matches 0:3. 

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

Sunday, 28 November 2021

Croatia Tennis Team Tops Hungary for Spot in Davis Cup Quarters

November 28, 2021 - The Croatia tennis team is in the Davis Cup quarters and will meet Italy in Turin on Monday!

On Sunday, Croatia advanced to the Davis Cup quarterfinals after Nino Serdarušić defeated Hungary's Fabian Maroszan 6-4, 6-4 in the first match against Hungary.

Two breaks were enough to win, one in each set, for Serdarušić, who is 233rd in the ATP ranking. The match lasted an hour and 11 minutes.

The Croatian tennis player was safe from the beginning; he served seven aces and won two of three break points. Maroszan, the 359th tennis player in the world, made 15 unforced errors in the match.

Marin Čilić suffered the shock defeat of the day against the 282nd tennis player in the world, Zsombor Piros.

Čilić and Piros played the second match (Hungary's best Márton Fucsovics withdrew due to injury). Still, the 282nd tennis player in the world proved to be an insurmountable obstacle for the great Croatian tennis player. But it wasn't that way at the start of the match. Marin led 5:2 and served for the set, but Piros returned at 5:5 to win the first set.

The second set was equal until the 11th game when Piros broke Čilić and easily served for 7:5.

Čilić started the third set well, served for 3:1 after which he increased it to 4:1, but Piros came back at 4:3 and for the second time broke Čilić for the 5:4 lead. Finally, in the last game, Čilić managed to save five match points, but Piros won in the end.

Nikola Mektić and Mate Pavić played Fábián Marozsán and Péter Nagy in the doubles clash. The best doubles team in the world won both sets (7:6, 6:2) to confirm Croatia's spot in the quarterfinals.

Croatia finished at the top of the group and will play against Italy in Turin on Monday.

Source: Sportske Novosti

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

Thursday, 25 November 2021

Davis Cup Day 1: Croatia Opens with 3:0 Victory against Australia

November 25, 2021 - The Croatia national tennis team opened the Davis Cup finals in Turin with a clean sheet against Australia on Thursday. A look at Davis Cup day 1.

The end of the tennis season is reserved for the Davis Cup finals, held from November 25 to December 5. Croatia kicked off their group against Australia in Turin on Thursday. 

Croatia national team coach Vedran Martić officially changed his lineup on Wednesday, and instead of the injured Borna Ćorić, he called up Nino Serdarušić. Thus, Marin Čilić, Nino Serdarušić, Borna Gojo, Nikola Mektić, and Mate Pavić are the forces that will represent Croatian tennis in Turin.

In the first 1st match of Group D between Croatia and Australia, Borna Gojo, currently, the 276th player in the world, defeated Alexei Popyrin, the 61st player in the world, 7:6 (5), 7:5. An hour before the match at Alpitour hall, coach Vedran Martić was uncertain between choosing Gojo or Nino Serdarušić as the second singles player, and in the end opted for the 23-year-old from Split, although he is ranked lower than the Zagreb native. 

The second singles match followed between Marin Čilić (ATP-30) and Alex de Minaur (ATP-34). In a marathon of three sets, Marin Čilić found his way to victory topping the Australian 6:1, 5:7, 6:4.

Čilić violently started against De Minaur, took the first set (6:1) in 26 minutes, and took the 3:1 lead in the second set. De Minaur came back to win eight of the next 10 games and was up 2:0 in the deciding set. However, Marin came back with a vengeance and brought the winning point to the Croatia national team. This was their third duel and Čilić's second victory.

Croatia was then represented in the doubles competition by the best duo in the world, Nikola Mektić and Mate Pavić, against John Peers and Alex de Minaur. Mektić and Pavić won 6:3, 6:1!

Croatia is in Group D with Hungary and Australia, and if they win first place, they will also play against the winner of Group E (Italy, USA, Colombia) in the quarterfinals, also in Turin. Croatia will play against Hungary on Sunday.

The first phase of the competition is held in six groups, and the six group winners and the two best second-placed national teams will move forward. Two singles matches and one doubles match will be played. 

Croatia, as the last winner of the 'old' Davis Cup in 2018 in Lille against France, did not become famous in Madrid two years ago. In the difficult group with Spain and Russia, they lost both matches 0:3, but there were objective reasons, such as Marin Čilić's injury, who did not even travel to Madrid, and Borna Ćorić withdrew after the first match. More than anything, coach Željko Krajan was dismissed a few days prior, there was a conflict among the players, the Croatian Tennis Federation sided with the players, and Franko Škugor took over the coaching role. 

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

Saturday, 20 November 2021

Croatia Davis Cup Team without Borna Ćorić, First Match against Australia

November 20, 2021 - The Croatia Davis Cup team will be without Borna Ćorić this year. The competition begins in Turin on November 25 against Australia.  

The end of the tennis season is reserved for the Davis Cup final, and the final tournament takes place from November 25 to December 5 this year. Croatia will play its first match in Turin on Thursday, November 25, against Australia, reports T.portal

Marin Čilić, Nino Serdarušić, Borna Gojo, Nikola Mektić, and Mate Pavić are the forces that will represent Croatia in Turin. Croatia is in Group D with Hungary and Australia. If they win first place, they will also play against the winner of Group E (Italy, USA, Colombia) in the quarterfinals, also in Turin. 

"We are sorry that Borna Ćorić is not with us, but we are happy to go to Turin. We wish Borna a speedy recovery and a return to the court. With this team, we also have a great chance considering the excellent form of Marin Čilić and the number one doubles team in the world, and with the whole team and the professional staff who are always with us. Therefore, we believe that we will pass the group and that we will reach the quarterfinals," said Nikolina Babić, president of the Croatian Tennis Federation, at the press conference held at the Hilton Garden Inn Zagreb.

Nikolina Babić was recently elected vice president of Tennis Europe.

"It is a great recognition and an excellent chance for the Croatian Tennis Federation so that we can all do something more for Tennis Europe and European tennis in general, young players, and achieve greater opportunities for new tournaments to come to Croatia. Junior tennis must be more noticeable, and that is the part that will be worked on more. The focus will be on new programs.

We spent the last days in preparation. Unfortunately, due to a shoulder injury, which has been bothering him for a long time, Borna Ćorić will not compete. He will be replaced by Nino Serdarušić, along with Marin Čilić and Borna Gojo. We also have the best doubles team, Nikola Mektić, and Mate Pavić. Tomorrow morning we will travel to Turin where we will have training for the next four days. We play our first match on Thursday against Australia and Sunday against Hungary. I hope that we will pass our group and play in the quarterfinals against the winner of the group that is also played in Turin. After that, it will probably be Italy or the USA," said Vedran Martić, the Croatia Davis Cup team coach. 

In the first phase, the competition is held in six groups, and the six group winners and the two best second-placed national teams move forward. 

Ahead of the Davis Cup competition, Borna Gojo said:

"I feel great. We will do our best and hope for the best result. Nikola Mektić and Mate Pavić are already there to be ready to welcome opponents who are quality players in both teams. We are happy because we have Marin Čilić, who is in great shape and the best doubles team in the world. We will also try to play as well as possible. I think we have a really good chance to go further," said Gojo, while Nino Serdarušić added:

"We are ready to start the Davis Cup and can't wait to get to Turin. We know both opponents well, Australia and Hungary. Two weeks ago, I played against Hungarians, and I believe in our team, and I think we can achieve great results." 

Croatia has won two Davis Cups so far.

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.

Source: Gol.hr

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

Saturday, 7 March 2020

Davis Cup Qualifiers: Brilliant Cilic Takes Croatia to Finals!

March 7, 2020 - Marin Cilic celebrated 6-0, 6-1 against Sumit Nagal, bringing Croatia its third point against India and spot in the finals this November in Madrid.

After the defeat of Mate Pavic and Frank Skugor in the doubles match, Marin Cilic was class. On a relatively fast court, Cilic used all his strengths 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.

Before the duel, Rohit Rajpal set Nagal instead of Prajnesh Gunneswaran, who lost to Borna Gojo on the first day, but the move did not prove wise or useful. The impression is that Gunneswaran would have been a much tougher rival, but for an inspired Cilic, as we watched on Friday and Saturday in Zagreb, he would still not be good enough.

Croatia justified its role of favorites, just as Marin Cilic justified his status as the best tennis player in this duel. In just over eight months, Croatia will once again be one of the 18 national teams to compete for the Cup in Madrid. Qualifying for the finals in Madrid brought $300,000 to the Croatian Tennis Federation, and US  $600,000 will be shared by national team members.

The final tournament is scheduled for November 23-29, 2020. Spain, Canada, the United Kingdom and Russia qualified as last year's semifinalists, Serbia and France have received invitations, and through qualifications, Croatia, Ecuador, Australia, Italy, Germany, Kazakhstan, Sweden and Austria will compete. 

The draw of the final tournament group will be held on Thursday, March 12 (5 pm) in London.

Source: HRT

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.

Source: Gol.hr

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

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