MADRID/STARNBERG, December 3, 2021
Croatia has reached the Davis Cup final for the fourth time by beating Serbia 2-1 at the Madrid Arena on Friday evening. Nikola Mektic and Mate Pavic secured the final point with a 7-5, 6-1 victory over Filip Krajinovic and Novak Djokovic. The world’s best doubles team broke their opponent’s serve three times to prevail after one hour and 12 minutes.
“He [Djokovic] was showing that he was number one in the world in singles,” said Mektic. “But luckily we didn’t play that sport, we played the sport with four people. We’re so happy.”
Pavic added: “It was a great win. We played a tough team. Obviously Novak is the best player in the world, we managed to do it. From the group stages to the quarters, to the semis, Borna and Marin played great matches, and unbelievable doubles. We’re super happy to be in the final and we’re ready now for the final.”
Earlier, World No. 279 Borna Gojo upset Dusan Lajovic 4-6, 6-3, 6-2 after two hours and one minute to give Croatia a 1-0 advantage. The 23-year-old sent down five aces and won 77 per cent of his first-service points to triumph.
Hrvatska Happiness 🥳
— Davis Cup (@DavisCup) December 3, 2021
“In the first set I was up 4-2 40-0, I was in control, I slipped in that game there,” said Gojo. “I got down on myself a little bit, but then the captain and the teams and the fans picked me back up. Obviously Davis Cup is a special competition where the pressure is bigger on everyone and I managed to play some of my best tennis here at this tournament. I’m very happy that I managed to get those big wins, ranking wise, but for me it’s more important that I managed to get the point for the team.”
Djokovic beats Cilic
In the second singles rubber, World No. 1 Djokovic recorded his seventh consecutive singles win at the Davis Cup Finals to level Serbia’s semi-final tie. The 34-year-old from Belgrade saved all eight break points he faced and hit 13 winners to outlast Marin Cilic 6-4, 6-2 in one hour and 39 minutes.
“It was always going to be a tough match against Marin,” Djokovic said in his on-court interview. “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.”
The Croatians recorded their first Davis Cup victory over their neighbours in the nations’ third meeting. They will face either Germany or Russia in the championship tie.