Croatia has won their second Davis Cup final in history thanks to an incredible finish by Marin Čilić.
Croatia has won the Davis Cup title for the second time in history in their third final ever. Marin Čilić remained unstoppable and did not crumble under pressure. With a score of 7:6 (3), 6:3 and 6:3, he defeated Yannick Noah’s choice Lucas Pouille in the fourth match of the finals on Sunday, reports HRT on November 25, 2018.
After Croatia’s convincing 2:0 lead after the first day of the finals, the incredible French doubles team brought France a point and a bit of hope. On Sunday, however, Croatia’s best tennis player and the 7th best player in the world showed why Croatia would be the ones to celebrate in Lille on Sunday.
At a packed Pierre Mauroy stadium in Lille, the Croatian tennis players were welcomed by the whistles of the home fans – especially Mate Pavić and Marin Čilić. However, the French were delighted to welcome their national team and the return of Lucas Pouille into the competition.
In the very equal first set, Croatia’s best tennis player did not serve well, though everything else worked well enough in his favor; he did not allow Pouille to attack his serve. The decision was left to a tie-break, where at 3:3, Čilić played a splendid four points to win the first set which calmed France’s enthusiasm.
In the second set, Čilić continued to play with power. Pouille continued serving well and sometimes surprised with short balls, though it was not enough to bring Čilić out of his rhythm. Čilić had the first break of the match in a 4:2 lead and confirmed it in the next game, in which Pouille came back to equalize… but not for long. Pouille failed to keep an advantage towards the end of the set, and Čilić came to the 2:0 lead in sets.
Going into the third set, many Croatian fans were reminded of Zagreb in 2016 and the match against Del Potro, though this time, Croatia was the one to have the happy ending. A break at 3:2 brought Čilić one step closer to the win, and at 5:3, after two hours and 17 minutes of play, Čilic reached 0:40. Though Pouille saved two match points, Čilić got the third and finished the game off with a lob.
Croatia won their first Davis Cup title in 2005, while in 2016, Croatia lost to Argentina in the finals in Zagreb. Croatia has also entered history in Lille, winning the last Davis Cup played in this format. Recall, next year the competition system will experience drastic changes.
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