After eight hours of tennis on Sunday, Borna Coric ended a sustained comeback bid from the United States by rallying from two sets to one down to beat Frances Tiafoe 6-7 (0), 6-1, 6-7 (11), 6-1, 6-3 in the fifth and decisive match
Zadar (Croatia): First it was the FIFA World Cup football final. Now it’s the Davis Cup.
Croatia will meet France again to decide tennis’ premier team event.
After eight hours of tennis on Sunday, Borna Coric ended a sustained comeback bid from the United States by rallying from two sets to one down to beat Frances Tiafoe 6-7 (0), 6-1, 6-7 (11), 6-1, 6-3 in the fifth and decisive match of a topsy-turvy semi-final.
“This is the most special moment of my whole life — by far,” Coric said. “If there were not (fan support) I would lose in the fourth set for sure, because my head was deep in the water.”
Earlier, substitute Sam Querrey had rallied to keep the US alive.
Querrey, who was playing in place of Steve Johnson, beat sixth-ranked Marin Cilic 6-7 (2), 7-6 (6), 6-3, 6-4 to even the best-of-five series at 2-2.
Defending champions France will host the November 23-25 final.
While France won the World Cup football final 4-2 in Russia this year, just reaching the match was a huge accomplishment for a small nation like Croatia.
“It was a great success not just for Croatian football but for all Croatian sports,” Croatia Davis Cup captain Zeljko Krajan said.
“We got used to the Croatia football team winning in extra time and what we did here was not one, not two but 10 extra times,” Krajan said, referring to how the soccer team won its first three knockout matches after they had all gone to extra time.
It was a memorable first career meeting between the 40th-ranked Tiafoe — who was making his Davis Cup debut — and the 18th-ranked Coric, both of whom are considered future stars of the game.
“To have a rookie perform the way that Frances did in the fifth match is very impressive,” US captain Jim Courier said.
“What Sam did, turning his match around, was kind of mind-boggling. So there’s a lot to process from today. I’m still not sure I’m there. We’re sort of taking it all in right now, because it’s been minute by minute today.”
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Last Updated Sep 19, 2018, 9:28 AM IST