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Croatia through to Davis Cup semi-finals, triumph over Italy

Croatia are into the last four with a 2-1 win over Italy in Turin

Mektic and Pavic Croatia’s Nikola Metic and Mate Pavic react during their match against Italy’s Jannik Sinner and Fabio Fognini (Panoramic)

2021 Davis Cup Draw Schedule

It was the doubles kings Nikola Mektic and Mate Pavic who sealed it in the end – perhaps predictably. They led Croatia to a 2-1 win over Italy in the Davis Cup quarter-finals in Turin, and took their country through to the final four.

Jannik Sinner – after almost three hours on court in the preceding singles match – partnered Fabio Fognini, but they could not stop the steamroller of Mektic and Pavic, who won 6-3, 6-4.

The selection of Sinner rather than Simone Bolelli must have been intended to capitalise on his adrenaline and momentum after his three-set battle past Marin Cilic less than an hour earlier – levelling the tie after Borna Gojo had shocked Lorenzo Sonego in the first singles encounter of the day.

Fognini’s double fault

And indeed, the Italian scratch pairing had stayed in touch for most of the decisive match, and had their chances to make in-roads, although they did not manage to get themselves a break point in the contest – but it was a Fognini double fault that handed the Croatians the decisive break in the second set.

“It feels incredible…I think we played amazing, I’m really happy we made it to Madrid,” said Mektic afterwards.

Pavic was quick to thank the Turin crowd for their support in recent weeks, from the Nitto ATP Finals onwards, with Mektic adding smilingly: “We apologise!”

“It was very tight, my players fight so well – I am so proud, so happy,” said captain Vedran Martic.

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