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Croatia on verge of victory in last Davis Cup before revamp


Marin Cilic

Croatia moved to the brink of a second Davis Cup title yesterday as straight-set victories for Marin Cilic and Borna Coric gave them a 2-0 lead over reigning champions France in the final.

The visitors were dominant throughout the day in front of a capacity crowd at the Stade Pierre-Mauroy in Lille as Yannick Noah's France failed to make the most of home advantage and the clay court.

Coric got Croatia off to the best possible start with a 6-2 7-5 6-4 thrashing of Jeremy Chardy, who was a surprise selection by Noah ahead of Benoit Paire and Lucas Pouille, the highest-ranked member of the French squad.

World No.7 Cilic (after win) made short work of an injury-hit Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, who needed to take a medical timeout during the third set before succumbing 6-3 7-5 6-4.

Croatia's doubles pairing of Mate Pavic and Ivan Dodig could finish the job today.

They will be slight underdogs against Pierre-Hugues Herbert and Nicolas Mahut in the final staging of the historic team competition before a controversial change of format comes into place next year.

Belfast Telegraph