March 7, 2020 – The Croatia tennis team is one step closer to the Davis Cup finals in Madrid.
Marin Cilic needed two tiebreaks to bring Croatia its second point in the second qualifying match against Ramkumar Ramanathan for the Davis Cup finals, which is played at the end of the year in Madrid.
For his 40th Davis Cup win and 30th in individual matches, Cilic kept Croatian fans on their toes and saved a set-point in both tie-breakers against the 25-year-old Ramanathan, who proved to be a very tough rival.
In the first set, Ramanathan came to the advantage first in the tie-break (5-4). He also had a set-point at 6-5, which he wasn’t able to use. At 8-8, Ramanathan complained that Cilic was procrastinating and taking too much time to prepare.
The second set followed the same scenario of the first, with the difference that both players missed two opportunities to break. Cilic had his chance in the third and ninth games, and Ramanathan had both in the sixth. In the end, the outcome was again in the tie-break, which Ramanathan opened with a 2-0 lead.
Cilic returned the loss immediately and at 5-4 missed a forehand for two match-points. Marin led 6-5 and missed the forehand again to win.
At 7-6, Ramanathan had a chance to take the match into the third set, but Cilic completed the task. At 9-8, Ramanathan couldn’t save the third match-point. Cilic, coach Vedran Martic, the entire Croatian team, and fans in Zagreb could finally breathe a sigh of relief.
Cilic finished the game with 20 aces and won 85 percent of his first-serve points
Croatia is missing just one more point in order to qualify for the finals in Madrid from November 23 to 29, 2020.
On Saturday from 3 pm Mate Pavic and Franko Skugor will play against Rohan Bopanna and Leander Paes in the doubles match, followed by the singles matches featuring Cilic and Gunneswaran and Gojo against Ramanathan.
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