Sports

Croatia beat France, claim Davis Cup title for second time

Croatia beat France, claim Davis Cup title for second time

Cilic was part of the latter team that surrendered a 2-1 lead to Argentina as they lost both their Sunday singles rubbers, his defeat from two sets up on Juan Martin del Potro handing Federico Delbonis the opportunity to win it for the South Americans against Ivo Karlovic. Tennis players since 2007, it held 7 face-to-face matches - Cilic was leading 5:2, but the last meeting in February 2017 there for Tsonga. "For us, it's a dream come true, for this nation, we are so passionate, you can see the fans".

"My singles players not only didn't lose a set, they didn't lose serve in three matches which is an unbelievable achievement and shows you the quality that we produced".

"This is the beginning of a new stage that guarantees the pre-eminent and legitimate place the Davis Cup should have as a competition for national teams, while adapting to the demands of this professional sport at the highest level", the Barcelona defender said in a statement in August. "I felt he was going to play but I hoped he wouldn't win and he for sure felt the pressure today".

"I'm especially proud of my players' mentality", said skipper Krajan.

But Cilic snuffed out that danger and turned up the power on his forehand to break at 5-5 before holding for a two-set lead.

In the second singles Cilic beat an injured Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in straight sets.

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A defining moment of the first set was the sixth game - Cilic with the score 3:2 for the first time reached the break points and immediately took the feed Tsonga. He was surrounded by the whole Croatian team on the court and covered his shoulders with the Croatian flag after the country's president, Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic, warmly hugged him.

Cilic withstood nearly one-sided support in the stadium for another break before building a 4-2 lead midway through the third set.

"This time, I told them they were strong enough and that they would only have to focus on their game for this to happen".

After Pierre-Hugues Herbert and Nicolas Mahut had combined to pull one back for France in Saturday's doubles, Yannick Noah, in his last match as the captain, handed Pouille a chance in the opening singles on Sunday for a change to the lineup.

Earlier on Friday, world number 12 Coric galloped through the opening set as Chardy's service temporarily collapsed and went on to stroll to easy victory.


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