It promises to be a fascinating battle and you can make a fierce defense of both teams. Croatia eliminated in the semifinals a Serbian team that included world number 1, Novak Djokovic. The Russian team beat defending champions Spain in the group stage and beat Sweden and Germany in the elimination stage.
The Croats have the strongest doubles players, with the world's number one Nikola Mektic and Mate Pavic, who have not given up a set in any of their four matches. The Russians have the most formidable singles lineup, with world number 5 Andrey Rublev and world number 2 Daniil Medvedev winning seven of their eight matches at this tournament.
Both teams are undefeated. Both teams have pedigree at this event. And both are desperate to win. In short, someone will have to give in. For Croatia, the most successful Davis Cup team in recent times, this is a third final in five years, following their 2016 loss to Argentina and their 2018 win over France.
Having experienced both the old and the new format, Marin Cilic says there are a few different challenges, but the feelings remain the same. "The team did an incredible job reaching the final, the third in five years is something exceptional and it doesn't happen very often even in these last 20 years of the Davis Cup.
And against the Russian team, probably the strongest there is today. Facing them is really a difficult task. But still a final is a final. We have our own strengths."
Gonzalez talks about the Big 3
In an interview with Tennis365, Fernando Gonzalez expressed how remarkable an achievement it is for the legendary trio to have each won 20 Major titles.
In his career, Olympic gold medalist Gonzalez has faced all three of them, before his retirement in 2012. His head-to-head records were: 1-12 against Roger Federer; 3-7 against Rafael Nadal; and 1-2 against Novak Djokovic. “A few years ago, the idea that anyone could win 10 Grand Slams was incredible, but now we have three guys with 20 and it is just amazing,” Gonzalez said.
“In terms of the numbers, I’m sure Novak is going to end up with the most Grand Slams and maybe the best statistics, but for me there are other factors when you decide who is the greatest," Gonzalez continued. "Novak is breaking all the records and it looks like he will continue to do that for a number of years."