Back in 2018, Croatia was the team to beat in the Davis Cup, defeating Canada, Kazakhstan, USA and France to lift the second crown after 2005, hoping for more of the same at the Davis Cup Finals in Madrid. Instead of that, the Croatians failed to defend the title big time, with Marin Cilic who was sidelined from the squad and Borna Coric who couldn't play at his best.
Croatia lost both ties in Madrid to Russia and Spain 3-0 and they will have to start all over in 2020, hosting India in the Davis Cup Qualifiers. Besides the problems with injuries, the Croatian team had to deal with the lack of captain as well, as the players refusing to compete under Zeljko Krajan just a couple of days before the beginning of the event.
Franko Skugor was the official captain in Madrid but the Federation is seeking for a permanent solution, offering a job to Ivan Ljubicic and Goran Ivanisevic. Former Croatian legends both refused the role as they work with Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic, respectively, leaving Karen Khachanov's coach Vedran Martic as the next candidate who should become the captain soon.
Speaking about Davis Cup, Ivanisevic said he had to refuse the offer, proposing the best possible solution that the players would agree with. Also, the 2001 Wimbledon champion shared his thoughts about the first edition of the Davis Cup Finals, mentioning interesting encounters but also the fact that Rafael Nadal pretty much saved the event with his perfect score and the title he brought for the home nation.
"I hope Croatia will get the Davis Cup captain as soon as possible, although Ivan Ljubicic and me are not the right persons for that position at the moment," Goran Ivanisevic said. "I went to the meeting with the Federation and proposed the best possible solution.
In my opinion, the next captain should be Vedran Martic (Karen Khachanov's coach) as the players also like him. The Croatian Davis Cup Finals campaign didn't go well without Marin Cilic and with Borna Coric who was far from his best.
The positive aspect is, of course, Borna Gojo, another signal that we have to invest in the future stars. I would love to see Marin Cilic among the best players in the world again, he is way too good to stay away from that group.
It will not be easy for him to make a comeback but a competitor with his strokes should always find the way. The new Davis Cup format offered thrilling ties and a couple of great matches, also some exciting doubles rubbers.
We have to give them a couple of years to fix everything but we can say that Rafael Nadal saved the entire event."