Nikola Mektić and Mate Pavić have overcome their first obstacle in the Olympic tournament. In the first round, they played against Marcelo Demoliner and Marcelo Melo and celebrated 7:6, 6:4.
Brazilians Marcelo Demoliner and Marcelo Melo offered strong resistance to Nikola Mektić and Mato Pavić, but the Croatian pair was still better and took the deserved victory.
Mektić and Pavić are the favorites for gold, but surprises are not uncommon at the Olympic Games.
The Croatian team was on the verge of losing the first set in which the Brazilians led 5:0, but by the end of the tie-break, Mektić and Pavić made it 8:1 and took the 13th game with 8:6.
In the second set, there were no breaks until the very end, when Mektić and Pavić reached 5:40 at 5:4. They had their second match point and advanced to the second round.
In the second round, they will play against the winners of Spain’s Andujar / Carballes Baena and Italy’s Musetti / Sonego.
Marin Čilić, the only male Croatian tennis player in the singles competition of the Olympics, advanced to the 2nd round with a big turnaround, defeating Brazilian Joao Menezes (ATP – 217th) 6:7 (5), 7:5, 7:6 (7) after three hours and 23 minutes of play.
Čilić finished the match with 12 aces, 12 double faults, and a first-serve percentage of only 54%. He made 49 unforced errors compared to Menezes’ 27 and realized only five of the 17 break points he had.
Čilić’s opponent in the 2nd round will be Spaniard Pablo Carreno-Busta (ATP – 11th) who defeated American Tennys Sandgren 7:5, 6:2. Čilić is 4-0 against the Spaniard in mutual matches.
To follow the latest sports news in Croatia, follow TCN’s dedicated page.
To learn more about sport in Croatia, CLICK HERE.