Davis Cup Finals: In Dramatic Doubles Finish, France Gets First Point (1:2)

Daniela Rogulj

After the second day of the Davis Cup finals in Lille, Croatia leads France 2:1. 

The Davis Cup winner will now be revealed on Sunday after Pierre-Hugues Herbert and Nicolas Mahut defeated Croatian pair Ivan Dodig and Mate Pavić with 6-4, 6-4, 3-6, 7-6 (3) after three hours and 38 minutes of play, reports HRT on November 24, 2018. 

Dodig and Pavić have thus remained without a victory for the third time in the Davis Cup and failed to use significant opportunities in the first and second set. 

The Croatian duo started the match better, and in the fourth game, had the chance to break, though Mahut was not going to let them get away with one that early. In the seventh game, at Dodig’s service, the Croatian side did not take advantage of 40-15, and after more than five hours of play in the finals, France came to their first break in Lille.

A similar scenario happened in the second set. Dodig and Pavić had a chance to break leading 4-3, though Herbert was brilliant to save it in the end. In the ninth game, France had a break again to lead 2-0 in sets.

When Mate Pavić lost his serve at the beginning of the third set, it seemed that a chance for Croatia to return was slim. However, Croatia experienced a massive turnaround after Ivan Dodig saved four breaks in a gamble that lasted 12 minutes and prevented France from taking a 3-0 lead. Croatia then took the match to the fourth set. 

In the fourth set, Dodig and Pavić missed three opportunities to break in the first game. France won only three points against the Croatian serve in ten games. With pressure from the stands, Mate Pavić saved three match points and brought Croatia to equalize at 5-5. Unfortunately, when they reached the fourth match point in the tie-break, France finished the job and remained in the fight for the title. 

Sunday’s singles program starts at 1 pm with the first match between Marin Čilić and Jeremy Chardy. However, after Chardy’s poor showing against Borna Ćorić on Friday, France coach Yannick Noah may elect his number one player Lucas Pouille to take the final to the fifth, decisive match between Borna Ćorić and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.

To read more about Croatia in the Davis Cup, follow TCN’s dedicated page here


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