1,500 Croatian Fans Expected at Davis Cup Finals in France

Daniela Rogulj

Croatia’s best tennis player has announced a great Davis Cup finals that begin on Friday from 1 pm in France.

Marin Čilić, Croatia’s best tennis player who finished this season in seventh place on the ATP individual ranking, will be the best-ranked tennis player in Davis Cup finals between Croatia and France in Lille. Three days before the start of the finals, Čilić expressed the opinion that this ranking should not fool anyone, and stressed that “the most important thing is to show real power on the court,” reports Gol.hr on November 20, 2018. 

Čilić was the last to arrive in Lille, after performing in the ATP final tournament including eight of the best tennis players in London, where he failed to win a spot in the semifinals in his fourth attempt. Čilić lost to the winner of the tournament, Alexander Zverev, and Novak Djokovic, though he defeated American John Isner.

“I think it was great that I was in London for the fourth time and had this great experience again. I did not use some of my opportunities, like in the match against Zverev and Djokovic. Anyway, I think these three games brought a lot to me considering that I played against players in the top 10 and all three games were of high quality. It can certainly help me with preparations for the Davis Cup so that I am in the right form from the start,” said Čilić.

Croatia has the 7th and 12th best players in the world on their team, which is a convincing advantage for Croatia going into the finals. But, when the games begin, we know how little this means.

“This ranking can fool you, we know that Pouille was positioned very high last year and we know he is a young and quality player. He is always motivated when playing for his team. On the other hand, they also have Tsonga, who has been hurt for a good part of the season and has the support of the team. They certainly have quality but we believe in our strength. Of course, the most important thing will be to show the real power on the court.”

The International Tennis Federation has allowed France to finish their final round of preparations on Wednesday, which is two days after the rules of the prescribed deadline. The Croatian representatives have been sentenced to training at another location on Wednesday, which the hosts claim has a very similar court to the one at Pierre Mauroy Stadium.

Adjusting to a clay court, where the French had more training as three of Croatia’s representatives appeared in London, will not be a big advantage for the hosts, says Čilić. 

“I think we will all adjust to everything quickly. This year we had the opportunity to play at home three times and all three times we played on clay courts, after concrete, so I believe that this will not be a big problem. They may have a slight advantage in the beginning, given that they have been on clay courts longer, but I think everything will be leveled during the games and we will be fully prepared,” says Marin.

The magnificent building, where France will host the Davis Cup finals for the third time, will receive about 27,000 spectators, including around 1,500 Croatian fans.

“We had the opportunity to play at home, for example in America, where there was a small group of our fans who cheered us throughout the weekend, and on a couple of other occasions when we played away. I believe that loud and real support can certainly help us a lot. We will do our best to raise the audience in the right moments and show them that great desire so we can motivate them more easily,” concluded Čilić, who will try to bring the trophy home from Lille.

To read more about Marin Čilić, follow TCN’s dedicated page here


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