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One foot in Davis Cup final for Croatia after Coric beats Kokkinakis

Coric played an extremely solid match and gave Croatia their first point by defeating Australian Thanasi Kokkinakis (6-4, 6-3) on Thursday in the opening match of the first Davis Cup semi-final

Borna Coric Davis Cup Croatia’s Borna Coric celebrates winning his match in the semi final against Australia’s Thanasi Kokkinakis (AI/Reuters/Panoramic)

Croatia are on track for a second consecutive Davis Cup final after Borna Coric defeated Australia’s Thanasi Kokkinakis 6-4, 6-3 in one hour and 32 minutes in the first singles match of the semi-final.

The Australian mustered little against a dominant Coric, who was in form reminiscent of his Cincinnati triumph earlier in the year.

The Croatian built his victory on his two main strengths: his backhand, particularly effective down the line on Friday, and his serve, which might go a little under the radar but definitely helped him out, as evidenced by his ace on match point. He conceded only one break point in the match, at the beginning of the second set, when Kokkinakis was at his best – but apart from that he continued in fine style following his two-set win over Spain’s Roberto Bautista Agut on Wednesday.

In the next singles match, between the nation’s two No 1-ranked players, Marin Cilic will now try to keep the momentum going and give his country a win against Alex de Minaur.

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