Marin Cilic opened up after Croatia's Davis Cup win over Spain and admitted the outcome could have been very different if Rafael Nadal had played the tie. On Wednesday, Croatia defeated Spain 2-0 to advance to the Davis Cup semi-final in Malaga.
After Borna Coric beat Roberto Bautista Agut in the first match of the tie, Cilic overcame Pablo Carreno Busta 5-7 6-3 7-6(5) to secure victory for Croatia. Unfortunately, Spain could not count on its two best players: Nadal and Carlos Alcaraz.
Nadal recently revealed that earlier this season he informed Spanish captain Sergi Bruguera that he would probably not be available this year. On the other hand, Alcaraz recently suffered an abdominal injury and was forced to skip the ATP Finals and the Davis Cup Finals.
"Yeah, you know, it would be very different, because I would say, you know, they're both... you know, Rafa, you know, he's been his whole career, you know, a team leader and, you know, with his own results and he's always enjoyed this, like, team environment.
And, you know, playing singles, doubles, he's one of the best Davis Cup players, if not the best, in that regard. And then with Carlos, a fantastic season for him. It is a pity that he was injured in Paris-Bercy and that he could not play the Turin Masters, and also this one at home.
So it's very difficult for both of us. Yes, but a lot ahead for the Spanish team in the coming years, for sure," Cilic explained, quoted by Sportskeeda. For his part, Croatia will now face Australia in the semi-final. In 2018, Cilic led Croatia to the Davis Cup title.
Now, Cilic is determined to win his second Davis Cup title with Croatia.
Rafa Nadal is very happy
Rafael Nadal, who is currently in Chile on a South American tour, said that he was happy to be playing in there and had great memories from 2013: "I am very happy to return to a country that has always given me so much affection.
I have great memories of when I was here in 2013 and I will never be able to forget my battles against Fernando González. The most important match of my career against a Chilean was the semifinals of Beijing 2008 against him.
I also know Nico Massú well, we've had good times together. It was a pity. They were two games that could be won, but they ended up losing. That's the sport. Some win and others lose, you go from euphoria to sadness in a very short time. It's disappointing to be eliminated from a competition like this, but we will carry on," said Rafael Nadal.