Thursday, March 30, 2023

Davis Cup: Coric downs Kokkinakis to provide Croatia 1-0 lead in semis

Borna Coric put 2018 champions Croatia on track for a second successive look within the Davis Cup last with a snug 6-4, 6-3 semifinal win over Australia’s Thanasi Kokkinakis in Malaga, Spain on Friday for a 1-0 lead.

Croatia, who have been crushed by the Russian Tennis Federation within the 2021 title conflict, can now safe a gathering with both Italy or Canada in Sunday’s last if former U.S. Open champion Marin Cilic will get previous Alex De Minaur within the second singles rubber.

Australia are attempting to achieve their first last since 2003 — once they gained their twenty eighth title — and captain Lleyton Hewitt chosen Kokkinakis for the opening contest instead of Jordan Thompson, who performed towards the Netherlands within the quarters.

However regardless of an encouraging begin, the 26-year-old got here undone in the direction of the tip of a good opening set as Coric went up 5-4 and grabbed the one break of the set to take the early benefit within the contest.

Coric, who beat Kokkinakis of their solely earlier assembly in Tokyo this 12 months, raised his degree within the subsequent set and broke for a 4-2 lead after which he by no means regarded again because the two-times champions went forward within the tie.

De Minaur will likely be aiming to make sure that Australia keep away from falling within the semi-finals but once more, with the staff shedding at this stage in 2006, 2015 and 2017 beforehand.

However a victory will imply staff mates Matthew Ebden and Max Purcell face Nikola Mektic and Mate Pavic in a rematch of their Wimbledon doubles last this 12 months, the place the Australian duo emerged triumphant in 5 units.

Italy and Canada will contest the second semi-final on Saturday.

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