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De Minaur beats Cilic to level up for Australia in Davis Cup semi-final

The first Davis Cup semi-final is all square again – and it’s down to a decisive doubles match

Alex de Minaur in Davis Cup action for Australia Alex de Minaur in Davis Cup action for Australia (AI/Reuters/Panoramic)

Alex de Minaur outclassed an out-of-sorts Marin Cilic to level up the Davis Cup semi-final for Australia against Croatia – winning 6-2, 6-2 in 44 minutes.

After Borna Coric beat Thanasi Kokkinakis earlier on Friday, it’s now down to a decisive doubles match between the experienced Croatian duo Mate Pavic/Nikola Metkic, the world’s fourth-ranked pair, and the less experienced but no less dangerous Matthew Ebden/Max Purcell.

“I have had a couple instances when I have, you know, been in this position and I feel like my back’s against the wall, and there is only one way to break through, and that’s going forward full steam ahead and just going after every single point,” de Minaur said in his press conference afterwards.

“You know, I knew what my job was. My job was to keep us alive, and happy to do anything I can for my country.”

De Minaur in the zone

Australia are now only one match away from playing their first Davis Cup final since 2003 – but Croatia are equally close to playing their second consecutive one.

Had Cilic got a result, the tie would be over, but it is possible that he was still suffering the effects of his epic battle with Pablo Carreno Busta on Wednesday. A break in the first game, then another in the seventh game, quickly sealed his fate in the first set, and with his serve crumbling around him, he wasn’t given any help from an opponent who was truly in the zone.

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