Croatia beat United States 3-2 to reach final


Croatia reached the Davis Cup final after Borna Coric beat Frances Tiafoe in over four hours to secure a 3-2 victory over the United States.

Croatia began the day with a 2-1 lead, but Sam Querrey beat Marin Cilic 6-7 (2-7) 7-6 (8-6) 6-3 6-4 to ensure a deciding rubber in Zadar.

Coric then outlasted Tiafoe 6-7 (0-7) 6-1 6-7 (11-13) 6-1 6-3 to send Croatia into their first final since 2016.

They will face defending champions France, who beat Spain 3-2.

Cilic and Coric both won the opening rubbers in straight sets to put Croatia in a strong position after the opening day.

America’s Mike Bryan, 40, who retired from Davis Cup tennis in 2016 along with his twin, Bob, returned to partner Ryan Harrison for Saturday’s doubles.

The duo prevailed in a five-hour epic to beat Ivan Dodig and Mate Pavic 7-5 7-6 (8-6) 1-6 6-7 (5-7) 7-6 (7-5).

Both sides, along with France and Spain, are guaranteed a place in next year’s revamped Davis Cup.

Cilic loses cool against Querrey

Marin Cilic
Marin Cilic smashed his racquet after being broken in the third set by Sam Querrey

Earler, Cilic was given a code violation by Carlos Ramos – the umpire who was called a “thief” by Serena Williams in the US Open final – for smashing his racquet.

The world number six broke his racquet on the ground after a series of errors in a tight third set against Querrey.

He was given the reprimand by Ramos but, because it was his first offence of the match, Cilic was issued with a warning and no points were deducted.

“Usually when you break a racquet, you get a code violation,” Cilic said, adding that he “could not remember” the last time he broke any equipment on court.

The 29-year-old had previously squandered a 6-1 lead in the second set tie-break and hit 72 unforced errors to Querrey’s 57.

There was further frustration for Coric, who led 5-1 in the third set which he eventually lost on a lengthy tie-break.

However Coric, who beat Roger Federer in the Halle Open final in June, took control of the final two sets to win in four hours and six minutes.

Austria & Japan complete wins

The Davis Cup will change to an 18-team event season finale, with 24 teams competing in qualifying rounds in February.

The 12 winning teams will advance to the finals in November, along with the four semi-finalist from the 2018 competition and two wildcards.

Austria secured their place in the February qualifiers with a 3-1 victory over Australia.

Captain Lleyton Hewitt helped pull Australia back into the tie after winning Saturday’s doubles rubber, but Alex de Minaur lost in four sets to world number eight Dominic Thiem on Sunday.

Japan wrapped up a comprehensive 4-0 victory over Bosnia-Herzegovina, while Canada beat Netherlands 3-1.

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