First Gojo, number 279 in the ATP ranking, and then double pack the company against the number 1 in the world. Nole’s success on Cilic is useless
Croatia is the first finalist of the 2021 edition of the Davis Cup. The team of Marin Cilic and world number 1 doubles Mektic-Pavic, after beating Italy in the quarter-finals, beat Novak Djokovic’s Serbia 2-1 today in Madrid. To decide the challenge was the final double with the clear victory of Mate Pavic and Nikola Mektic over Novak Djokovic and Filip Krajinovic, the latter fielded at the last moment by Viktor Troicki instead of Nikola Cacic: 7-5 6-1 the score in favor of the Croatians.
Djokovic did not succeed and, half an hour after the equalizer scored against Cilic, he returned to the field trying to drag Krajinovic towards an impossible goal. The Serbs have always been in trouble, already from the third game when Djokovic, with as many first serve, managed to save 4 break points. On 4 all Croatia still had a chance to break and once again the Serbs defended themselves with their nails. But on 5 equal the formation led by Djokovic had to surrender to the greater experience of the rivals who made the break, kept the serve by signing the first set and then finally stretched up to the final 6-1.
For Croatia, Sunday’s match against the winner between Russia and Germany will be the fourth Davis Cup final in history after the one they won in 2005 against Slovakia, the one they lost in 2016 against Argentina and the one they won in 2018 against France. It is also Croatia’s first victory over Serbia. The precedent between the two Slavic formations was two wins to nil for Serbia who had beaten Croatia 4-1 in the quarter-finals of the World Group in 2010 and 5-0 in the first round of 2015.
The second match
The match between the two number 1 of their respective nations opens with Cilic called immediately, in the third game, to face two break points which he saves with the service. In the following game Djokovic is forced to save himself from 15-40 and so the game remains in equilibrium up to 4 all. Here Cilic climbs 40-0, but undergoes the comeback of the world number 1 who slips 5 points in a row, coming to serve for the set. At 4-5, the two champions play the most beautiful and interesting game of the whole match. Cilic, with two spells, gets three balls of the counterbreak which, however, does not transform. On the first cue Cilic, on the second it is Nole who wins a prolonged exchange and on the third it is still the Serbian who pulls out a winning service. Having escaped the danger Nole gets the first set point which transforms thanks to Cilic’s backhand error. Nole could stretch already in the first game of the second set, but does not take advantage of three break points. Cilic, however, dies, he feels he can do nothing against Djokovic. The Serbian flies ahead two breaks (4-1), in the sixth game he saves one more break point, then one more in the last game. Cilic closes with 8 missed break points out of 8 and Djokovic finishes in glory by closing the second fraction 6-2 and bringing Serbia back to the surface.
At the opening of the challenge the Croatian number 2 Borna Gojo, a real revelation of this edition of the Davis Cup, had overtaken Serbian Dusan Lajovic by 4-6 6-3 6-2. As number 276 in the world (he wouldn’t even qualify for Grand Slam tournaments), Gojo beat Popyrin (No. 61), Sonego (No. 27) and Lajovic (No. 33) in the finals with a complete tennis and a consummate player personality. Gojo could have won even in two sets if he hadn’t thrown away a 3-0 and then 4-1 lead. The inexperienced Croatian lacked continuity in the decisive moments and a good yield with the backhand. The second set follows the trend of the first. Gojo escapes 3-0 with a missed ball for 4-0. And also this time Lajovic’s reaction is on time. But once the ball is missed at 3-3, the Serbian drops suddenly and Gojo takes possession of the game. Lajovic drops conspicuously and the Croatian goes up again 3-0 before closing 6-2 to launch his team ahead 1-0.
December 3, 2021 (change December 3, 2021 | 22:41)
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Davis, Croatia in the final. Djokovic is not enough, Serbia eliminated