The first point for Iva Majoli’s team was brought by the best junior in the world, 16-year-old Petra Marčinko, who defeated Jacqueline Cabaj Awad 6-0, 6-4 in her debut for the senior national team. Croatia’s victory was secured by Ana Konjuh, who defeated Caijs Wilda Hennemann 6-1, 6-3, coming back from 0-3 in the second set.
Petra Martić and Donna Vekić secured the final 3-0 without losing a set, beating Fanny Oestlund and Kajsa Rinaldo Persson 6-2, 6-4 in the doubles match.
After the first round, Croatia took the leading place in the group, ahead of Slovenia and Austria, which also started with victories. After the singles matches, Slovenia secured a victory against Georgia, and Austria did the same against Bulgaria.
Bulgaria will be the next rival for Croatia, scheduled for Tuesday, starting at 9 am Central European Time.
After Bulgaria, Croatia will face Slovenia on Wednesday, Georgia on Thursday, and Austria on Friday.
The group winner will directly qualify for the playoffs for the 2023 Final Tournament, while the second-placed team from Group B will play against the second-placed team from Group A for the last, third place leading to the playoffs.
Playoff matches are scheduled for November this year and are played on a host-away system.
“I am glad that we are all together and in the strongest lineup after a long time. Our national team includes Petra Martić, Ana Konjuh, Donna Vekić, Petra Marčinko, and Tara Würth, and Antonia Ružić is traveling with us. This year, the competition format is challenging; we are looking for first place in the group with five other national teams. We are one of the favorites on paper, but it should be confirmed on the court. We must not underestimate anyone; surprises are common in a competition like this. Let’s remember last year’s success of our Davis Cup national team,” said coach Iva Majoli before the tournament.
“The fact that we will be in the strongest team is a great advantage. Five matches should be played in six days, and all players will compete.”
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