Croatia Davis Cup 2021

‘None of us expected this’ – Croatia crush Italian dreams to claim first Davis Cup semi-final spot

Croatia crushed Italian dreams of a first Davis Cup semi-finals since 2014 as they took their place in the last four.

Croatia last reached the semi-finals of the Davis Cup in 2018 before going on to win that year’s event.

The first rubber saw Lorenzo Sonego take on 279th ranked Borna Gojo in match where the two men had more than 250 ranking places between them.

But Gojo harnessed the Davis Cup energy to clinch the upset and put his nation one up.

Jannik Sinner then won the second rubber against Marin Cilic to level the tie, before he and Fabio Fognini were beaten by the top doubles pair in the world in Nikola Mektic and Mate Pavic.

“It honestly feels incredible,” Mektic said after securing the tie. “I don’t think any of us expected to go this far.

“I think we really played amazing and I’m so so happy that we’ve made it to Madrid.”

Mektic and Pavic are back in Turin after playing the ATP Finals less than two weeks ago.

Sinner did the same, as he played the Finals as an alternate in the singles.

“I want to congratulate also the Italians,” Pavic continued. “They played a great [tie], they came back in the second match.

“Obviously they were down a set and a break. They played great. Also to the crowd. You’re unbelievable, thank you to everybody for coming.”

Cilic served for the match in the second set against Sinner, but the 20-year-old surged back to prolong the tie with a win.

Croatia will next face the winner of Serbia and Kazakhstan in the semi-finals in Madrid.

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