ZAGREB, November 26, 2016
Croatia takes a 2-1 lead over Argentina into Sunday’s reverse singles rubbers at the Davis Cup by BNP Parisbas Final after Marin Cilic and Ivan Dodig defeated Leonardo Mayer and Juan Martin Del Potro 7-6, 7-6, 6-3.
The Croats hit 33 winners and converted two of their five break point opportunities to seal victory in two hours and 42 minutes.
“This is a once in a lifetime experience and I have to thank the fans for creating a fantastic atmosphere,” Dodig said in his post-match interview.
“We will be rooting for Marin to finish the job tomorrow.”
Croatia is bidding to win its second Davis Cup title and equal Russia in 9th place on the all-time list of Davis Cup champions. Croatia won its only Davis Cup title unseeded in 2005, when it defeated Slovakia 3-2 in the Final in Bratislava.
Argentina is looking to become the 15th nation to win the Davis Cup title, having lost all four of its previous appearances in the Davis Cup Final in 1981 (l. USA), 2006 (l. Russia), 2008 (l. Spain) and 2011 (l. Spain). It is one of only four nations, along with Belgium, India and Romania, to have reached more than one Davis Cup Final without being crowned champion, but the only nation to have lost four Finals without winning the title.
Del Potro now has to beat Cilic on Sunday to keep Argentina’s hopes alive of a first Davis Cup title.
“I know him very well because we grew up together playing at all sorts of tournaments,” Del Potro said.
“He has done exceptionally well this year and will be backed by a passionate home crowd, but as ever I will do my best to prevail and give us a fighting chance of winning the Davis Cup.”
Argentina would become the only third team to come back from 1-2 down in a Final. The conclusion is going to start at 2pm local time.