Borna Coric and Marin Cilic give Croatia a 2-0 lead over the USA in Zadar - UBITENNIS
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Davis Cup

Borna Coric and Marin Cilic give Croatia a 2-0 lead over the USA in Zadar

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Croatia leads 2-0 over the USA after Borna Coric and Marin Cilic scored two straight-set wins in the first two singles rubber matches on outdoor clay in Zadar.

 

Borna Coric opened the Davis Cup World Group semifinal tie between Croatia and the USA with a 6-4 7-6 6-3 win over Steve Johnson in two hours and 24 minutes. Marin Cilic gave Croatia a 2-0 lead after the first day with a 6-1 6-3 7-6 win over US 20-year-old Next Gen player Frances Tiafoe in two hours and 14 minutes.

Coric scored his 8th Davis Cup in 15 singles Davis Cup matches. He held his service games in the opening set and broke serve in the third game with a deep return. The yound Croatian player held at love in the 10th game to seal the opening set in 34 minutes. He started the second set with another break after a poor forehand from Johnson. The US player got the break back in the sixth game when Coric made a forehand error. Johnson fended off a break point at 4-4 with a smash winner. Both players went on serve until the tie-break. Johnson went up 4-3 in the tie-break but Coric bounced back by winning four consecutive points to clinch the tie-break 7-4. Coric hit forehand volley winner to take a 2-0 lead. Coric got his only break in the fourth game, when Johnson made a double fault and opened up a 4-1 lead with a hold at love in the fifth game. Coric hit a service winner, when he served for the win at 5-3 to close out the match.

“I played a very good match. I didn’t give away one break in the match aside from in the second set. I just thought he played too good. I made one sloppy mistake and everything else I played so good so I can’t say anything about myself. I started playing Davis Cup when I was 16-17 years old, so I played many ties already and I know the feeling. I know the presure”, said Coric.

In the second match Marin Cilic beat Tiafoe in straight sets to score his 37th career Davis Cup win in his 53rd match in this event.

Cilic converted five of his eight break points in the first two sets. The Croatian star won 12 of the first 13 points to open up a 3-0 lead with a break at love in the second game with a forehand winner. Tiafoe did not convert a break point in the fifth game. Cilic raced out to a 5-1 lead, when Tiafoe netted a forehand and sealed the first set with a service winner with a backhand winner in the seventh game after 26 minutes. Cilic went up a double break in the third and fifth games to build up a 4-1 lead in the second set after 47 minutes. Tiafoe got one break back in the sixth game. He forced the eighth game to five deuces on his return, but he was broken in the ninth game to lose the second set.

Both players held their serve in the first 12 games to set up a tie-break. Tiafoe got an early mini-break but Cilic pulled it back with a service winner on the seventh point with a volley winner. The Croatian player reeled off four consecutive points and sealed the win with a service winner at 6-5.

“In these later stages of my career, I enjoy so much to play in the Davis Cup. We have great success, great chemistry in the team. Atmosphere is really nice. I am also happy that Mate is back in the team. In these years before we had a great team but now we are a bit stronger and we can have more combinations”, said Cilic.

Davis Cup

Spain to face Russia and Ecuador in Davis Cup Finals next November

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The draw of the 2020 Davis Cup Finals in Madrid took place at the ITF offices in London on 12th March. The Davis Cup Finals will begin in Madrid on 23rd November 2020.

 

Defending champions Spain has been drawn in the Group A against Russia and Ecuador. Last year Rafael Nadal guided the Spanish team to the triumph in the final against Canada at the Caja Magica.

This year’s ATP Cup champions Serbia will face Germany and Austria in a Group A, which features three top 10 players Novak Djokovic, Dominic Thiem and Alexander Zverev. Djokovic beat Thiem in this year’s final of the Australian Open.

In the Group E the USA will take on Italy in a re-match of last year’s late round-robin match. These two teams were drawn against Colombia.Last year’s finalists Canada will meet Sweden and Kazakhstan.

Three former Davis Cup champions France, Great Britain and Czech Republic have been drawn in Group C.

 

Croatia will clash against Australia and Hungary in Group D.

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Davis Cup

John Millman Praises ‘Special’ Atmosphere After Australia’s Davis Cup Triumph

John Millman praised the ‘special’ Davis Cup atmosphere in Adelaide after their 3-1 win over Brazil.

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John Millman and Lleyton Hewitt (@TennisAustralia - Twitter)

John Millman praised the ‘special’ Davis Cup atmosphere in Adelaide this weekend after Australia booked their spot in the Davis Cup Finals. 

 

As Australia headed into the second day with a 2-0 advantage, many people expected a comfortable 3-0 win for the hosts but that turned out not to be the case.

Marcelo Demoliner and Felipe Meligini Rodrigues Alves gave Brazil hope after an epic 2 hour and 54 minute win over James Duckworth and John Peers.

A 5-7 7-5 7-6(6) victory for the Brazilians saw the tie taken into a fourth rubber as John Millman knew he had to step up to seal victory for the Aussies.

Another sensational match as Millman battled past Thiago Monteiro 6-7(6) 7-6(3) 7-6(3) to secure a thrilling win and Australia’s place in November’s Davis Cup Finals.

After sealing the win, Millman praised the special atmosphere in Adelaide over the two days, “To have an experience like this, that’s better than just about any experience I’ve had,” Millman told Tennis Australia.

“It was something pretty special this weekend. I enjoyed every second of it. It was so much fun. It was an emotional rollercoaster and we’re so happy to get through. To do it with these boys, it’s been a really special week.”

As for captain Lleyton Hewitt, this win typified what he loves about the home and away format that the Davis Cup Qualifiers shows, “There were ebbs and flows in all the matches. It could have gone either way,” Hewitt said.

“That is what Davis Cup is about and that’s why I love the home and away format. To have the atmosphere and the crowd involvement, it was a lot of fun for us to be out there.

“For these guys to play in front of their home fans again, they don’t get to do it throughout the year that often. I’m just thrilled for them that they get to enjoy it and be part of it. It is something really special.”

Next for Hewitt and his Australian team will be the Davis Cup Finals in Madrid, where they will join last year’s semi-finalists Spain, Canada, Great Britain and Russia as well as wildcards Serbia and France.

Also qualifying for November’s showpiece were Ecuador and Kazakhstan after their respective wins over Japan and the Netherlands.

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Davis Cup

Kei Nishikori Out Of Davis Cup In Latest Blow To Japan

More bad news for fans of the injury-stricken player.

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Former US Open finalist Kei Nishikori has hinted that he may not be able to return to the tour until the clay season after withdrawing from his country’s upcoming Davis Cup tie against Ecuador.

 

Nishikori, who is currently ranked 31st in the world, had been in Miki training ahead of his country’s clash in the team competition. Raising hopes that he will be making a return this weekend. However, he has now confirmed that he is not fully at the level he needs to be to play. The 30-year-old hasn’t played a competitive match since September after undergoing surgery on his right elbow.

“Physically I’m not at my max.” AFP news quoted Nishikori as saying on Thursday.
“I want to return to competition after I improve my strength and become fully confident.
“It might be after Miami or during the clay season,” he added.

Japan will now enter their tie without their two top ranked players on the tour. Another notable absentee is world No.48 Yoshihito Nishioka, who has pulled out of the competition over coronavirus concerns. Yesterday the country recorded it’s 1000th infection of the illness, which is also known as Covid-19. The outbreak has affected many public events in Japan, but officials are confident that this year’s Olympic Games will go ahead as planned.

As a result of the outbreak, the Davis Cup clash will take place behind closed doors. The decision was jointly made between the ITF, Japanese Tennis Association and the country’s government. Baseball matches in the country have also been played without a crowd and the football J-League has been postponed.

“I am grateful just to be held while many sports are being cancelled.” Yasutaka Uchiyama told reporters.
“I want to get results firmly for the fans who support me in front of the TV. ”

Uchiyama and Go Soeda will be the two players who are playing singles in the tie against Ecuador instead of Nishikori and Nishioka.

Another Davis Cup tie affected by the Coronavirus is Italy’s home tie with South Korea. The government announced on Wednesday that all sporting fixtures will be played behind closed doors until April 3rd. Italy is the worst affected country in Europe with more than 3000 cases.

During a recent interview with Ubitennis, the ITF has said that are monitoring the threat posed by Covid-19 to their tournaments on a ‘case by case’ basis and are liaising with the relevant authorities. The ITF is the body which runs the Davis Cup.

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