Borna Coric: "It's always a great feeling when I represent Croatia in the Davis Cup" - UBITENNIS
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Borna Coric: “It’s always a great feeling when I represent Croatia in the Davis Cup”

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Borna Coric and Marin Cilic will lead a strong Croatian team next week-end in the final of the Davis Cup against France at the Stade Pierre Mauroy in Lille.

It will be the second final between France and Croatia in a world sport event four months after the French triumph in the football Fifa World Cup in Moscow.

The Croatian team beat France in the most recent head-to-head in the 2016 Davis Cup semifinal, but they lost the final on home soil in Zagreb against Argentina.

In this year’s edition of the Davis Cup Croatia edged the US team 3-2 in a thrilling semifinal. Coric rallied from 2 sets to one down to win a dramatic fifth set against US Next Gen player Frances Tiafoe in the decisive fifth rubber match securing Croatia a spot in the final.

“It was a difficult afternoon, but I managed to overcome all problems thanks to the support of the Croatian crowd”,recalls Coric.

Borna Coric made his debut in this event at the age of 16 in 2013, when he played against Andy Murray. Since then he has won nin

“Playing against Murray was a great experience for me. I was very proud to be selected for the Croatian team and this experience has been a big boost for the following matches. I have learned a lot. It’s always a great feeling when I represent my country. I could not play the 2016 final against Argentina and it was a big disappointment. This year will be a great experience”, said Coric.

Coric ended the 2017 season at world number 48 in the ATP Ranking and has made a major breakthrough this year climbing to world number 12. He reached the semifinal at Indian Wells, won the title in Halle beating Roger Federer in the final and reaching his first Masters 1000 final in Shanghai, where he lost to Novak Djokovic.

Coric started training with his Italian coach Riccardo Piatti at the Tennis Centre in Bordighera at the end of 2017.

“For all Croatian players the Davis Cup is very important, especially when they have to face a strong team like France. Borna always talks about this event”,said Riccardo Piatti.

Marin Cilic played in the ATP Finals last week, but he feels that the transition from indoor hard-court to indoor clay will not be a challenge.

“I believe I am going to be fine, adjusting my play, a bit more of sliding, running. The conditions of indoor clay are slightly faster than outdoor clay. I will be fine”, said Cilic.

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Elise Mertens and Aryna Sabalenka dig deep to set up re-match against Barbora Krejikova and Katerina Siniakova in Indian Wells doubles final

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Unseeded team Elise Mertens and Aryna Sabalenka had to dig deep to beat Gabriela Dabrowski and Xu Yifan 6-2 7-6 (7-5).

Mertens and Sabalenka built up a 6-2 5-2 lead, but Dabrowski and Yifan won three consecutive games thanks to a break-back in the ninth game to draw level to 5-5. Mertens and Sabalenka took the 7-5 edge in the tie-break.

“Two days ago I lost my singles match and then I went to play doubles and we won that match. For me that’s the best recovery. It’s always nice to play doubles and stay in a tournament especially in this tennis paradise. It’s cool to be here. It does not matter singles or doubles”,said Sabalenka.

The Belgian and Belarusian team set up a doubles final against reigning Roland Garros and Wimbledon doubles champions Barbora Krejcikova and Katerina Siniakova, who battled past Chan Hao Ching and Latisha Chan 5-7 7-6 (7-5) 10-6 after saving match points in a hard-fought second set.

Mertens and Sabalenka will be looking to take a re-match against Siniakova and Krejcikova, who came back from one set down to win 2-6 6-2 6-3 of the Australian Open third round match.

 

 

 

 

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Nikola Mektic and Horacio Zeballos advance to the Indian Wells doubles final in their second tournament as a team

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Nikola Mektic and Horacio Zeballos have advanced to the Indian Wells final in just their second tournament as a team after beating Oliver Marach and Mate Pavic 7-6 (7-3) 7-6 (7-3) on Thursday.

Mektic and Zeballos earned the first break in the second game and held on their service game to open up a 3-0 lead. Marach and Pavic won three consecutive games with a break-back in the fifth game to draw level to 3-3. The first set went on serve with no breaks of serve en route to the tie-break. Mektic and Zeballos sealed the tie-break 7-3 on the first of their three break points.

The second set went on serve with no breaks until the tie-break. Mektic and Zeballos converted the first of their third set points to wrap up the tie-break 7-3. The Argentine and Croatian player won 75 % of their service games.

“It’s crazy because most of the teams know each other for a long time. We are enjoying it, we are having a really nice time together on the court and I think we are both good players, so that’s why I think it’s working. It would be great. This is amazing. This is my first ATP Masters 1000 final, so I am happy ”, said Zeballos.

Zeballos has clinched 11 ATP Tour doubles titles and reached eight finals, but he will play his first Masters 1000 title match.

Novak Djokovic and Fabio Fognini will take on Poland’s Lukasz Kubot and Brazil’s Marcelo Melo in the other semifinal.

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Gael Monfils In Doubt For Miami Masters

The top 20 player has once again been hit by injury woes following a successful start to 2019.

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Gael Monfils (photo by chryslène caillaud, copyright @Sport Vision)

France’s top ranked male player is unsure if he will be able to play in next week’s Miami Masters after being forced to withdraw from the BNP Paribas Open on Thursday.

Gael Monfils pulled out of his quarter-final clash with Dominic Thiem due to a problem with his Achilles. During a press conference, the world No.19 confirmed that he has inflammation in his left Achilles after undergoing a scan. An issue that has been bothering Monfils over the past couple of days.

“I felt my left Achilles a little bit. Day after day I have been treating it with my team. And last night (Wednesday) after my match, it was actually not so good.” Monfils told reporters in Indian Wells yesterday.
“I tried a little jog in the morning, and I couldn’t really actually push on it.”
“I had an ultrasound with the doctor here (in Indian Wells), and we could see, like, a big inflammation.” He added.

Whilst not a severe injury, it is in unclear as to how long the recovery process will be. Raising the chances of Monfils skipping the Miami tournament, which relocates to the Hard Rock Stadium this year. He has already missed the past two editions of the Masters 1000 event. In 2017 he was sidelined by an ankle injury, followed by a back issue in 2018.

“It depends how fast I will heal. Definitely try the other treatment tonight.” He said.
“I will take it really easy with everything and then see how I feel, if I feel that I can play Miami or not.
“So far it’s tough to say how long, but I will stay positive and hope in a couple days I’ll be fine.”

The setback comes after what has been a solid start to the season for the Frenchman. His win-loss record for 2019 currently stands at 14-4. At the Rotterdam Open Monfils won the eighth title in his career and only the second at an ATP 500 event. He also reached the semi-finals of tournaments in Rotterdam and Dubai.

“Sometime, some people are more fragile. And I guess I’m kind of fragile with some parts of my body.” The 32-year-old admits. “That’s why I always try new routines.”
“I guess I need to stay tough mentally, because it’s never easy. But I have been through that. I have no fear, I know, for this one (injury.”

As a result of his withdrawal, Thiem will play Milos Raonic in the semi-finals at Indian Wells on Friday.

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