On the first day of the Davis Cup qualifier in Rijeka, Borna Ćorić beat Denis Novak (144th on the ATP list) 6:3, 7:5, while Borno Gojo was better than Dominic Thiem, once the #3 player in the world – 6:3, 7:6(2).
“I am very satisfied with my performance, especially when serving, which has not been at the expected level in the last few months. However, the feeling is slowly coming back,” said Ćorić after his victory.
“I think we both played well. In the second set, he put a lot of pressure on me, but the break at 5:5 broke him,” concluded the Zagreb native.
“A good match for me; mentally, it’s always a little easier when you enter the match with a 1-0 lead. Thanks to Borna Ćorić for making it possible for me. However, even though we are up 2-0, nothing is over. I hope we can finish everything already in the doubles, but one ball often decides that. Regardless, Borna and I are ready to finish the job if necessary,” assures Gojo.
Croatia’s national team coach Vedran Martić praised Gojo but warned that the winner is still not resolved.
“Borna did a fantastic job. He served exceptionally well. He was aggressive when needed and defended when required. His volleys were better and better throughout the match. In the tie-break, he played bravely, going to the net. Then, when it was the most difficult, he pulled out some moves that the best players in the world do, which is the quality of a champion. I am looking forward to the continuation of the Davis Cup,” Vedran Martić said at the press conference.
Although Croatia has a significant advantage, they need to be cautious.
“An ideal scenario for us after the first day. Both our players played great matches. Ćorić, as expected, defeated Novak, and Gojo surprised Thiem. A tough doubles match awaits us on Sunday. Nothing is over yet. It’s not football when you lead 2-0 and wait for the referee to play the end. We have to win the third point. Everyone in the team is aware of this, and there is no relaxation,” warned the coach.
Vedran Martić adds that they do their best when everyone comes to play in the Davis Cup.
“Borna Ćorić, Borna Gojo, and Marin Čilić give their all when they play. All matches are open; we can also lose just as we lead. We have had excellent results in recent years, and we should be grateful for that. We are leading, but we haven’t won yet,” he pointed out.
The first match on Sunday starts at 1 pm. Doubles team Ivan Dodig and Nikola Mektic will compete against Alexander Erler and Lucas Miedler.
After the doubles match, if necessary, Ćorić and Thiem should play, and then Gojo and Novak.
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