Croatia won a thrilling Davis Cup quarter-final against Italy 2-1 thanks to Nikola Mektic and Mate Pavic’s doubles victory over Fabio Fognini and Jannik Sinner.
The two singles matches were shared earlier on Monday, with both going to three sets.
The first saw Croatia’s world No. 279 Borna Gojo surprise Lorenzo Sonego, ranked 27th, with a 7-6(2) 2-6 6-2 win that handed his nation a 1-0 lead.
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Gojo said: "We knew we had to get one point from the two singles. The support was unbelievable. They are so loud. Some of my best friends and family are here and I want to thank them with all my heart for coming."
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Afterwards, Jannik Sinner tied the quarter-final when bouncing back to beat Marin Cilic 3-6 7-6(4) 6-3.
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“The most important thing is we are still here,” Sinner said afterwards, having kept his nation alive in the tie. “It is the most amazing feeling. I just tried to stay there. It was not easy trying to break him for the match, but I just tried my best.”
Sinner returned to partner Fognini for the deciding doubles rubber, and they were soon a set down when Mektic and Pavic took it 6-3.
Just like the first set, Mektic and Pavic just needed the one break in the second, this time doing so in the seventh game before wrapping up the match 6-4.
Mektic and Pavic have dominated men’s doubles in 2021, emerging as the No 1 pairing despite only partnering up at the start of the year, while they went on to win Wimbledon, Tokyo 2020 gold and three Masters 1000 events.
With the Davis Cup still in their sights, 2018 champions Croatia will take on the winners of Serbia against Kzakhstan for a place in the 2021 final in Madrid.
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