Mate Pavic and Nikola Mektic send Croatia into the Davis Cup final with a win over Serbia in the decisive doubles match - UBITENNIS
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Mate Pavic and Nikola Mektic send Croatia into the Davis Cup final with a win over Serbia in the decisive doubles match

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Olympic gold medallists and Wimbledon champions Mate Pavic and Nikola Mektic defeated Novak Djokovic and Filip Krajnovic 7-5 6-1 to complete Serbia’s 2-1 win over Croatia in the semifinal of the Davis Cup by Rakuten in Madrid. 

Croatia has reached the Davis Cup final for the fourth time in history after previous appearances in the championships match in 2005, 2016 and 2018. Pavic and Mektic, who won nine titles in 2021, earned the decisive break in the 12th game to close out the first set 7-5 and broke twice in the fourth and sixth games to seal the second set 6-1. 

“It was a great win and we played against a great team. Djokovic is the best player in the world”, said Mate Pavic. 

Croatia will face either the Russian Tennis Federation or Germany in Sunday’s final. 

Djokovic had sent the semifinal tie to a decisive doubles match after a 6-4 6-2 win over Marin Cilic in 1 hour and 39 minutes. Djokovic scored his 19th consecutive singles win in the Davis Cup. 

Cilic earned six break points in the first set and two more chances in the second set, but he was unable to convert them. 

Djokovic earned a crucial break in the ninth game from 0-40 down to win the first set 6-4. The 20-time Grand Slam champion broke twice in the third and fifth games to seal the second set 6-2. 

“It was always going to be a tough match against Marin. The first set was over an hour, with some very close games. I saved myself. Winning the first set gave me a lot of confidence for the second set. It was a nervy start for both of us. We both knew the significance of this match”, said Djokovic. 

In the first singles match earlier on Friday world number 279 Borna Gojo rallied from one set down to beat Dusan Lajovic 4-6 6-3 6-2 after 2 hours and 1 minute to give Croatia a 1-0 lead. Gojo had upset Alexei Popyrin in the round robin and Lorenzo Sonego in the quarter final. 

Gojo earned an early break in the second game of the first set and was two points away from a 5-1 lead. Lajovic won four consecutive games from 2-4 down with two breaks of serve to claim the first set 6-4. Gojo finished the opening set with 19 unforced errors to Lajovic’s 12. 

Gojo earned an early break in the second game to take a 3-0 lead in the second set and missed an opportunity for 4-0. Lajovic broke back in the fifth game for 2-3, but Gojo earned his second break in the sixth game to claim the second set 6-3 sending the match to the decisive set. Gojo broke twice in the first and third games of the third set and held his next service games to close out the decider 6-2.

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Iga Swiatek beats Emma Raducanu to extend her winning streak to ten consecutive matches in Stuttgart

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Two-time defending champion Iga Swiatek held off 2021 US Open champion Emma Raducanu 7-6 (7-2) 6-3 after 2 hours and 3 minutes to extend her winning streak to 10 consecutive matches at the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix in Stuttgart. 

Swiatek set up a semifinal match against 2022 Wimbledon champion Elena Rybakina, who came back from a break down in the third set to beat this year’s Dubai champion Jasmine Paolini.

Raducanu came back from 0-40 down to earn the first break of the opening set. Swiatek converted her third break point in the second game in a seven-deuce second game. Raducanu saved the only other break point at deuce in the sixth game. Swiatek won the first four points and five of the first six points to win the tie-break 7-2. 

Swiatek earned five break points in the second, sixth and in the 12thgame, but she converted only one opportunity. Raducanu converted her only break point in the first game. Swiatek won nine more points than Swiatek. 

Swiatek broke Raducanu in the second game to open up a 2-0 lead. This break was decisive, as both players held on their next serve in their next games. 

Swiatek earned six break points in the third, fifth and ninth games, but she converted one chance. The Pole did not face a single break point and won eight more points than Raducanu.

“Raducanu started playing at the beginning pretty loose, like she had nothing to lose, and I totally get that. Sometimes it is like that. I knew I was questioning if she is going to be able to keep the same intensity throughout the whole match. It was not about service games or return games. I was just waiting for my chances to break back and I was sure that I am going to get them”, said Swiatek.

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Stefanos Tsitsipas beats Sebastian Ofner in Barcelona to extend his winning streak

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Stefanos Tsitsipas beat Sebastian Ofner 6-4 7-5 at the Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell to extend his winning streak to seven consecutive matches after claiming his third title at the Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters last week. 

Tsitsipas earned an immediate break in the first game. Ofner broke straight back to draw level to 1-1. Tsitsipas earned his second break  in the seventh game to take a 4-3 lead and served out the first set 6-4 with a hold at 15. 

Tsitsipas broke in the fifth game to take a 3-2 lead. Ofner won three consecutive games with two breaks of serve to take a 5-3 lead. Tsitsipas came back by winning four consecutive games with two breaks of serve to seal the second set 7-5.

Tsitsipas has a record of 17 wins to 5 defeats in Barcelona. The Greek player reached three finals at this tournament in 2018, 2021 and 2023.  

“I feel pretty good, but it is still early in the tournament. The conditions here are very different to Monte-Carlo and I felt it today when I was playing. My job is to adapt and to ensure I can bring my A game again in Barcelona this week. Today was a great test to see where I stand. I am hoping to keep on improving and getting good wins like this under my belt”, said Tsitsipas. 

Tsitssipas set up a third round match against Roberto Carballes Baena, who beat Lorenzo Musetti 7-6 (7-4) 6-4 in 2 hours and 15 minutes. 

Musetti saved three break points in the first game of the opening set. The Italian player earned two break points with a backhand down the line. Musetti saved two break points in the seventh game. Both players went on serve un the 12th game when Carballes Baena saved a set point. Carballes Baena went up a 5-1 lead with two mini-breaks in the tie-break. Musetti won three consecutive points to reduce to 4-5. Carballes Baena won the final two points to take the tie-break 7-4. 

Carballes Baena converted his fourth break point in the fourth game to take a 3-1 lead. Musetti broke back in the fifth game. Carballes Baena saved a break point in the sixth game. The Spanish player sealed the win with a break on his second match. 

Last week’s Monte-Carlo finalist Casper Ruud beat Alexandre Muller 6-3 6-4 to claim his 25th tour-level win of the season. Ruud has drawn level with Jannik Sinner for the most wins in 2024 on the ATP Tour. 

Ruud set up a third round match against Jordan Thompson, who beat Jaume Munar 6-4 2-4 6-4. Roberto Bautista Agut beat Andrea Vavassori 4-6 6-4 6-1 to claim his milestone 400th match win on the ATP Tour. Bautista Agut set up a third round match against Cameron Norrie. 

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Roberto Bautista Agut wins his milestone 400th match on the ATP Tour

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Roberto Bautista Agut came back from one set down to beat Australian Open doubles finalist Andrea Vavassori 4-6 6-3 6-1 after 2 hours and 1 minute at the Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell. 

Vavassori earned an early break in the first game. The Italian player earned three break points in the seventh game, but Bautista Agut saved them. The Spanish player broke straight back in the eighth game. Vavassori broke again in the ninth game to take a 5-4 lead and saved two break points before closing out the first set 6-4 on his second set point. 

Both players went on serve in the first four games of the second set. Vavassori earned a break point in the fifth game, but he did not convert it. Bautista Agut broke serve in the sixth game to take a 4-2 lead and did not face any break points to win the second set 6-3. 

Bautista Agut broke three times to cruise through to a 6-1. 

Bautista Agut reached the 400th milestone win on the ATP Tour.  The Spanish player has become the 13th active player with at least 400 ATP Tour wins. He achieved 20 wins against members of the top 10, ten wins against top 5 players and four against world number 1s. Bautista Agut is one of the nine players, who have beaten Novak Djokovic as World number 1 more than twice. 

“For me it’s just a number. The important thing is that I have done great work over these years, that I have a very consistent career, a career that I can feel proud of “, said Bautista Agut. 

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