Monday, March 20, 2023

Davis Cup: Croatia cruise into Finals Group stage despite doubles slip

Borna Coric fired Croatia through to the Davis Cup Finals for a fourth time after ending Austria’s hopes of a final day fightback in their 2023 Qualifier.
Coric saw off Dominic Thiem 7-6(3) 6-2 in an hour and 45 minutes to prevent Jurgen Melzer’s visiting side from gaining any further momentum after Austrian doubles pair Lucas Miedler & Alexander Erler had recorded a surprise triumph over the home side in the doubles.
Austria’s doubles pair upset Nikola Mektic and Ivan Dodig 6-3 7-6 (11) in one hour and 50 minutes to deny a Croatian clean sweep after the two Bornas – Borna Coric and Borna Gojo – had won their singles on the opening day.
That left Thiem with an opportunity to take the contest to a deciding fifth, but the 2020 US Open champion, still on the comeback trail from a wrist injury, struggled for consistency against Coric.
“I enjoyed the fight, it was great,” Coric was quoted by ATP Tour website. “It was great to play in front of the home crowd. I was very happy with the way I was playing on the important points. I was very aggressive so I’m super happy with the win.”
In the other qualifiers, Korea Republic recovered from 0-2 down for the first time to claim a remarkable 3-2 victory over Belgium, while Finland sealed their first-ever berth in the Finals Group Stage with a 3-1 win over Argentina.
Elsewhere, Netherlands cruised past Slovakia 4-0, and there were 3-1 victories for Chile and Czech Republic over Kazakhstan and Portugal respectively.
The six victorious teams follow Great Britain, Serbia, Switzerland, Sweden, USA and France in progressing from this weekend’s Qualifiers.
The 12 winning nations in the Qualifiers joined 2022 champions Canada, 2022 runners-up Australia and wild cards Italy and Spain at the 2023 Finals.
The Group Stage will be played across four venues from September 12 to17, with the eight best-performing teams advancing to the Final 8 in Malaga, Spain from November 21 to 26.


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