The Davis Cup quarterfinals kick off on Friday in Varaždin!
The Davis Cup quarterfinals between Croatian and Kazakhstan will open on Friday with Croatia’s best player Marin Čilić and Kazakhstan’s Dmitry Popko, a decision made in Thursday’s draw in Varaždin, reports Index.hr and Gol.hr on April 5, 2018.
Marin Čilić, the third best tennis player in the world, will be the first to play at the Varaždin Arena in the match scheduled for Friday at 14:00. After Čilić’s game, Borna Ćorić’s will take on Kazakhstan’s best tennis player Mikhail Aleksandrovich Kukushkin.
“It didn’t matter to Čilić if he played first or second, but Borna wanted to rest as he is coming from America; so he will play second, and the draw went in our favor,” commented Croatian coach Željko Krajan about the Davis Cup quarterfinal draw between Croatia and Kazakhstan
“Popko is a player I don’t know at all. I have not seen him play live but I have seen him on recordings. He is a talented player that has a future. He is a young player who has only reached the Challenger level and is not yet participating in the ATP tournaments. In any case, I respect him, and this is Davis Cup where anything can happen. We are experienced, we know what to expect, and I’m sure I will be focused from the first point. I will need to put in the maximum and give my best tennis so we get to that first point,” Marin Čilić said after the draw.
On Saturday at 15:00, the Davis Cup doubles will take the court. Croatia coach Željko Krajan has paired Ivan Dodig and Nikola Mektić to take on the Kazakhstan combination of Timur Habibulin and Aleksandr Nedovjesov.
On Sunday, the competition begins at 14:00 with the match between Čilić and Kukushkin, followed by Ćorić and Popko.
The winner of the Croatia and Kazakhstan quarterfinals will advance to the semifinals to play the better of USA and Belgium.
“Kazakhstan has been excellent in the last five to six years, and they are not an easy opponent. Their passion for playing for their country is great, and they have shown what they can do against some top national teams. We will be extremely serious in this match,” said Čilić.
“We are aware of how difficult it is to make a clay court in the arena – and it is very specific. There is no sun, the court behaves differently after each game, but the team here has done a great job to make the terrain as we wanted. I believe it will be shown during the weekend and it will help us prevail in this match,” Marin added.
Borna Ćorić awaits Mikhail Kukushkin, a player he has met twice and lost both times.
“I have to look at these previous matches to see where I went wrong, and I have not gotten there yet. True, it was two years ago, and I’m a different player today. That does not mean a lot, but I see the little things. We have another two-hour training to go as I have not been able to train as much lately to be as fresh as I can,” Borna said.
Davis Cup quarterfinals schedule:
Friday, 14 pm: Marin Cilic – Dmitry Popko, followed by Borna Ćorić – Mihail Kukushkin
Saturday, 15 pm: Ivan Dodig, Nikola Mektić – Timur Habibulin, Aleksandr Nedovjesov
Sunday, 14 pm: Marin Čilić – Kukushkin, followed by Borna Ćorić – Dmitry Popko