Davis Cup Preview: Croatia seeks the final spot against the USA in Zadar


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Davis Cup Preview: Croatia seeks the final spot against the USA in Zadar

Sportski centar Visnjik in Zadar will host the semi-final clash of the Davis Cup World Group between Croatia and the USA, with the host team standing as the favorite to advance into their fourth Davis Cup final. The USA may be the most successful country in the Davis Cup ever but they are yet to find the way to topple the Croats, losing all four previous matches between 2003-2016! Ivan Ljubicic was the hero in their first tie in 2003 and again in 2005 in Los Angeles, en route to the first and only Davis Cup crown for Croatia.

The third tie was played in 2009 in Croatia and the host team prevailed with wins for Marin Cilic and Ivo Karlovic to keep the perfect score against the Americans. Two years ago in Portland, Jack Sock and John Isner had taken the USA 2-0 in front but it wasn't to be for him, losing the doubles clash and the remaining two singles on Sunday to suffer the fourth loss against Croatia in as many matches.

The Croats are the favorites to claim their fifth win over the Americans on the outdoor clay court in Zadar, building this new stadium near the Kresimir Cosic Hall in order to host the rivals on the best possible surface that should give them the edge.

Marin Cilic and Borna Coric will be there to stand strong in the singles rubbers and Zeljko Krajan can count on Mate Pavic, one of the leading doubles players in the world who is back in the Davis Cup squad for the first time since 2014! On the other hand, Wimbledon and the US Open champions Open champions Jack Sock and Mike Bryan should play for their country in the doubles rubber but Jim Courier will have to think twice before announcing his singles players, especially without John Isner who is expecting a child in the next couple of days.

Jack Sock has won miserable six singles matches this season and Steve Johnson should have the advantage over him, winning the title in Houston (on much faster clay, though) and reaching the third round at Roland Garros where Marin Cilic beat him in straight sets.

Sam Querrey is the most experienced singles player in the American team but he will travel to Zadar ranked outside the Top 60, losing six of the last matches he played and scoring just two wins on clay in 2018, one of those in the Davis Cup against Serbia.

Frances Tiafoe is ready to make his Davis Cup debut and he will get a chance if Courier puts him in front of Querrey. The 32-time champions have not reached the final since 2007 and they will have to produce something special in order to surprise the host nation.

Croatia is seeking the place in the second Davis Cup final in the last three years, playing in Zadar for the third time after beating Brazil in 2008 and France in 2016. Team nominations:

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