Karlović Back on Davis Cup Team, Ready to Play Argentina in Zagreb

Total Croatia News

The final match of Croatian and Argentinean players will be the first tennis match to be played in Arena Zagreb

“I can announce that Ivo Karlović is returning to the national team,” said Davis Cup selector Željko Krajan after the meeting of heads of Croatian Tennis Alliance (HTS) with Zagreb Mayor Milan Bandić, Jutarnji List reported on September 26, 2016.

After the meeting it was confirmed Arena Zagreb will be the location of the final encounter of Croatia and Argentina from November 25 to 27, 2016.

“This is the greatest news we could have gotten. With him we are 20-30 percent stronger. With Borna Ćorić off to surgery and his future condition unknown, Ivo Karlović fills all the gaps, so we are still favourites,” said the satisfied selector.

“The decision made by Karlović has brought us enormous joy. It is the best possible decision for the team and for him,” said HTS President Franjo Luković.

It is fitting that Karlović had his last appearance in the Davis Cup against Argentina, in the 2012 quarterfinals in Buenos Aires, when the hosts celebrated 4-1. Karlović played on clay against Juan Martin del Potro and lost easily, joining forces with Marin Čilić in couples to lose in the fifth set from the Nalbandian – Schwank pair. The decision of his return was made after he had spoken with the selector.

“He didn’t want to impose himself. He recognised the situation we are in. He can see Borna is not in the best situation and may not be ready. We all know how much Dodig means in pairs, and for him it’s hard to play both pairs and singles. Karlović helped us out, took mercy, recognised we really need another player of his quality,” concluded the selector who wishes for an atmosphere in the Zagreb Arena such as it was in the semi-finals in Zadar.

“We didn’t know what to expect there either. We were hoping for support, a big turnout and we got it. This happened for the first time since I’m on the national team I hope this can happen in Zagreb zoo, as we need it.”

“Considering the ITF requirements, the finals can only be played in Zagreb, in the Arena. We expect a great sports show and Croatia’s victory,” proclaimed the head of the Zagreb Office for Education, Culture and Sport.

The final match of Croatian and Argentinean players will be the first tennis match to be played in Arena Zagreb, with an estimated seating capacity of 15.000 seats.


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