January 5, 2019 – The Croatia national tennis team is off to a great start in Sydney for the first-ever ATP Cup, topping Austria 3:0 in their first round of games on Saturday.
At the premiere of the ATP Cup, in the first round of Group E in Sydney, Croatian tennis players defeated the Austria national team 3:0!
The winning team was decided already after the singles matches – first Marin Cilic celebrated with a comeback against Dennis Novak (108th on ATP list) – 6:7 (4), 6:4, 6:4, and Borna Coric surprised the 4th best tennis player in the world, Dominic Thiem – 7:6 (4), 2:6, 6:3.
In the doubles match, Ivan Dodig and Nikola Mektic were better than Austrian Jurgen Melzer and Oliver Marach 7:6 (4), 6:2.
Marin lost the first set to Novak, but found a way to celebrate in the end.
“It was an extremely difficult match, a real thriller. Dennis played at a high level. It was a great match to start the new season,” Marin said after the win.
Borna, who lost six matches to finish last season, opened 2020 with a massive win against Thiem. It was Borna’s second win in their five meetings thus far, and his 12th career win against one of the top 10 players in the world last year.
“I’m really happy. Honestly, I didn’t know what to expect from this performance, especially since I didn’t play my best tennis last season. Well, it was great. Even though I lost the second set, I felt I was playing really well. In the third set, I played bravely on important points, and in the end, it paid off. This success will further fill me with confidence for the matches to come,” Borna said with special thanks to the Croatia fans in attendance.
“Thanks to them for their support, they carried me through the whole match, and especially at the end of the match, when it was the hardest for me.”
The key to Croatia’s doubles victory was winning the first set in which Dodig and Mektic were losing 5:3. At 5:4, they saved a set-point and after the tie-break lead 1:0. They had no problem in the second set.
“Despite the final 3:0, the whole round against Austria was extremely uncertain and interesting, with just the singles matches lasted for almost six hours. In the doubles, the first set was also exciting, but it was easier for us in the second,” Nikola Mektic said.
Croatia will play their second match on Monday against Poland, who lost to Argentina 2:1 in the first round.
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