Davis Cup Semifinals: USA Triumphs in Doubles, Winner to be Decided on Sunday

Daniela Rogulj

The doubles fought on the second day of the Davis Cup semifinals in Zadar between Croatia and the USA. 

Ivan Dodig and Mate Pavić lost to Mike Bryan and Ryan Harrison in a thrilling five sets of tennis, with a score of 5-7, 6-7 (6), 6-1, 7-6 (5), 6-7 (5). The Davis Cup semifinal score is now at 2-1 for Croatia, reports Gol.hr on September 15, 2018. 

Thus, the nine consecutive doubles wins of Croatia in the Davis Cup, which lasted since 2015, came to an end – and it came just when Mate Pavić was reintroduced to the “Dream Team”, as coach Željko Krajan likes to call it. 

Although they have not played together since last year’s triumph in Hamburg, Ivan Dodig and Mate Pavić did not take much time to find their rhythm. The first set was ideal for Dodig and Pavić to get to the match point in the ninth game, but, in the next game, the Americans came to a break at 5-5, and won the first set two games later. 

Mike Bryan and Ryan Harrison had a 4-2 lead in the second set, but just as the Americans did in the first set, Dodig and Pavić managed to come back. In the tie-break, Dodig and Pavić led 5-4, but only managed to get to 6-5. With three consecutive points, the second set went to the American side again. 

The Croatian duo’s fate was seriously in question after two hours and four minutes of play, but one thing was certain – over 7,000 spectators in Zadar would not stand to see Dodig and Pavić lose without putting up a big fight.

The third set was the most lucrative. In 36 minutes, with just one lost game, Dodig and Pavić won the set and began their big comeback. The most critical moment of the fourth set occurred in the tenth game. Ivan Dodig was serving, and Bryan and Harrison came to 15-30. Dodig and Pavić took 5-1 in the tie-break, the Americans returned to 5-5, but the next two points went to the Croatian pair.

The Americans broke Mate Pavić’s service in the first game. In the fourth game, Mike Bryan lost 2-2. At 6-5, Dodig and Pavić were 15-30, but Harrison took the match in a decisive tie-break.

Bryan and Harrison led 3-1, had 6-4 and served and lost a point with Harrison’s miss. Ivan Dodig was up next. His first serve was too long, the others were slightly shorter. Harrison rushed for the return – the ball went past Pavić on the net and next to Dodig who went to cover the parallel. The mistake gave team USA life and turned Sunday into a seriously competitive day. Will France host Croatia or America in November?

The first match on Sunday will begin at 11:00 between Marin Čilić and Steve Johnson, followed by Borna Ćorić and Frances Tiafoe. Croatia needs another point to advance to the final.

The Davis Cup finals will take place from November 23-25. The winner of the Croatia – USA semifinal will play against France, who defeated Spain already on Saturday in an unbelievable 3-0 at home.


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