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Cilic delivers Croatia’s second Davis Cup from history

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Croatia won the Davis Cup for the second time in history. Marin Cilic, who also won his singles game on Friday, made the decisive 3-1 in the final against France. He defeated Lucas Pouille: 7-6 (3), 6-3, 6-3.

All singles games were won by the Croats in three sets. First Borna Coric was too strong for Jérémy Chardy on Friday. Cilic then had no trouble with Jo-Wilfried Tsonga. Yesterday, Pierre-Hugues Herbert and Nicolas Mahut managed to win the doubles from the Croatian Mate Pavic and Ivan Dodig. 

It is the last edition of the Davis Cup in this form, with a knock-out system. Next year a final tournament of one week will be held in Madrid, in which eighteen countries can participate.

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Croatian tennis players get hero reception

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Thousands of Croats welcomed their national tennis team in the center of Zagreb on Monday. With the help of leader Marin Cilic, Croatia defeated France last weekend in the final of the Daviscup in Lille 3-1.

The Croatian tennis players got into a special bus at the airport. Arriving in the center they celebrated the party with their fans on a stage on Ban Jelacic Square. The tennis players jumped and danced while behind them on a large screen images were shown with the highlights of the final.

,, We are incredibly happy that we have brought this price to Croatia. We have shown everyone that we are the best, “says Cilic.

Croatia won the Davis Cup once before. That was in 2005, at the expense of Slovakia.

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Two Italian tennis players suspended due to match fixing

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The anti-corruption unit in tennis (TIU) has suspended two Italians for a long time because of match fixing and other violations of the rules against gambling practices. These are Daniele Bracciali (40) and Potito Starace (37).

Bracciali has been banned from tennis for life and received a fine of $ 250,000. Starace is not allowed to engage in tennis affairs for ten years. He must pay a fine of $ 100,000.

Both Italians were found guilty of illegal acts during the ATP tournament in Barcelona in April 2011.

Bracciali is currently in the hundredth place on the world ranking of doubles, with the 21st position as the highest ranking. Starace, who had already stopped with top tennis, reached his highest ranking in singles (27th) in October 2007.

The Italian tennis federation suspended the duo in August 2015 for a match fixation. That sentence was withdrawn a few months later. Starace was then released on appeal and the suspension of Bracciali was reduced to one year at the time.

Potito Starace.
Potito Starace. © Sander Chamid

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Croatia close to Davis Cup

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Croatia is still one win away from winning the Davis Cup. The winner of 2005 after the first two games in the final in Lille 2-0 against title defender and home favorite France. Marin Cilic defeated Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in three sets: 6-3 7-5 6-4. Earlier, Borna Coric did not have a set loss against Jérémy Chardy (6-2 7-5 6-4).

Tsonga, who suffered a major part of 2018 with a knee injury, was surprisingly preferred over the much higher ranked Lucas Pouille (32nd of the world). The gamble of captain Yannick Noah did not work out well. The clearly not topfitte Tsonga was no match for the number seven in the world, who recently lost the final of the ATP Finals. 

Cilic did not provide a service game and managed to break one Tsonga service game in each set. When the physical condition left the 33-year-old Frenchman, it was soon over.

Coric

Borna Coric gave Croatia the advantage even earlier. Coric was too strong on the indoor clay court with clear figures for the Frenchman Jérémy Chardy: 6-2, 7-5, 6-4. 

Coric had an energetic start and won the first two service games from Chardy. With that he came 3-0 and the tone was set. The tough Coric was clearly stronger and the much sloppier Chardy, who did not put any service break, could not claim the victory for a moment. 

The game – which lasted only 2 hours and 19 minutes – was briefly interrupted in the third set due to a hip injury at Coric, who quickly finished the Frenchman after the break. Coric, the number 12 in the world, only lost one match this season in the Davis Cup. He reached the decisive point in the semi-finals against the United States.

Borna Coric.
Borna Coric. © AP

Just like last year, the final will be played in Lille, where the Lille OSC football stadium has been converted into a tennis stadium. It is the last final in this Davis Cup set-up. France won the country tournament last year, Croatia in 2005 the only time.

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