Croatia edge ahead in Davis Cup decider

By Jack Davies 26 November 2016 62
Croatia edge ahead in Davis Cup decider

Croatia hold the advantage heading into the final day of the Davis Cup final against Argentina after claiming a 7-6 (7-2) 7-6 (7-4) 6-3 doubles victory on Saturday.

Having taken one singles win apiece on Friday, Croatia and Argentina drafted in Marin Cilic and Juan Martin del Potro respectively to provide added star power to their doubles pairings.

And the teams - completed by Ivan Dodig and Leonardo Mayer - proved similarly difficult to separate in the opening set of the third rubber in Zagreb.

Neither pairing was prepared to give an inch in a clash that could prove pivotal in the tie, with all four players serving and volleying with some aplomb.

The Argentine pairing - playing together for just the second time - never recovered from a slow start to the breaker, though, allowing Croatia to take the opener.

And the home side carried that momentum into the second set, making the first break of the match in the third game.

However, Croatia could not see the set out as Argentina got back on terms in the eighth, Cilic coming off second best in a baseline exchange with Del Potro.

A second tie-break win for Croatia came as a hammer blow for Argentina, having played two hours of tennis without reward to leave them with a mountain to climb.

A nightmare service game for Mayer handed Croatia the breakthrough in the third set, and Argentina were unable to find a response as the hosts served out the match.

The result leaves Del Potro needing to overcome Cilic in Sunday's first rubber to tee up a decider between Ivo Karlovic and Federico Delbonis.

About Author

Jack Davies