Croa­tia leads Ar­gentina 2-1 af­ter dou­bles

Malta Independent - - SPORT -

Ar­gentina's long­time hopes of clinch­ing its first Davis Cup ti­tle took a blow af­ter a dou­bles loss against Croa­tia yes­ter­day.

Marin Cilic and Ivan Dodig swept past Juan Martin del Potro and Leonardo Mayer 7-6 (2), 7-6 (4), 6-3 to give Croa­tia a 2-1 lead over Ar­gentina in the Davis Cup fi­nal.

Cilic can se­cure the de­ci­sive point for Croa­tia against Del Potro in the first re­verse sin­gles on Sun­day. If Del Potro wins, Croa­tia's Ivo Karlovic and Ar­gentina's Fed­erico Del­bo­nis will de­cide the fi­nal.

Ar­gentina is the only na­tion in the Davis Cup's 116-year his­tory to have reached four fi­nals with­out win­ning the ti­tle. Croa­tia is tar­get­ing its sec­ond ti­tle af­ter beat­ing Slo­vakia in the fi­nal in 2005.

Yes­ter­day, the Croats dom­i­nated tiebreak­ers in the first two sets with Dodig mak­ing some

Yes­ter­day’s re­sults

Foot­ball Bank of Val­letta Premier League Gzira U.-Ham­run S. 0-2; Hiber­ni­an­sSliema W. 3-1; Flo­ri­ana-St An­drews 4-1; Birkirkara-Tarx­ien R. 3-1 Bank of Val­letta first di­vi­sion Zeb­bug R.-Pi­eta H. 0-2; Marsa-Sirens 0-2. Bank of Val­letta sec­ond di­vi­sion St Ge­orge’s-Qrendi 4-5; Ze­j­tun C.At­tard. 3-0; Swieqi U.-Sig­giewi 0-5; Ghaxaq-Gudja 2-0; Mel­lieha-B’Buga SP 1-3; Zab­bar SP-Marsaxlokk 2-1. GFA Cup

To­day’s fix­tures

Foot­ball Vic­tor Tedesco Sta­dium: Bank of Val­letta Premier League 2pm BalzanPem­broke Ath.; 4.15pm Val­letta-Mosta. Cen­te­nary Sta­dium: Bank of Val­letta first di­vi­sion 2pm Naxxar L.-Rabat Ajax; 4.15pm Mqabba-Fgura U. Charles Abela Sta­dium: Bank of Val­letta third di­vi­sion 2pm St Lu­ci­aZur­rieq; 4.15pm Xgha­jra T.-Luqa SA. Luxol Sta­dium: Bank of Val­letta third di­vi­sion 2pm Kirkop-Kalkara; 4.15pm Dingli S.-Msida SJ. Sirens Sta­dium: Bank of Val­letta third di­vi­sion 2pm Marsaskala-Md­ina K.; 4.15pm Mtarfa-Ta’ Xbiex. Kercem Sta­dium: Bank of Val­letta women’s first di­vi­sion 11am Go­zoM­garr U. Kirkop Ground: Women’s U-17 league 9am Raiders (Luxol)-Kirkop; 10.30am Birkirkara-Mosta; 12.00 Zeb­bug R.Tarx­ien R. Kercem Sta­dium: GFA Cup 1pm Gharb R.-Zeb­bug R.; 3.15pm San­nat L.-Vic­to­ria H. spec­tac­u­lar shots and Cilic hold­ing his serve at key points.

The cru­cial break came in the 6th game of the third set on Mayer's serve when the Ar­gen­tine net­ted a seem­ingly rou­tine fore­hand af­ter mak­ing a string of mis­takes in pre­vi­ous ex­changes. The Croa­t­ian duo con­verted the sec­ond of three op­por­tu­ni­ties.

Cilic closed out the match with a big first serve that Mayer could only send long. The Croats threw their arms in the air and got big hugs from the bench.

Ar­gentina soc­cer great Diego Maradona led thou­sands of vis­it­ing fans with chants and fran­ti­cally waved a scarf with the Ar­gen­tinian flag from his ex­ec­u­tive booth on the stands at Arena Za­greb. He was wear­ing a black band on his arm to mourn the death of Cuban leader Fidel Castro.

"He was like my sec­ond fa­ther," Maradona told re­porters. Nadur Y.-Gha­jn­sielem 3-3 (Nadur win 6-5 on penal­ties; Munxar F.-SK Vic­to­ria W. 1-5 Bas­ket­ball Men Di­vi­sion One Flo­ri­ana MCP Car Parks-Gzira Ath­leta 83-67. Men Di­vi­sion Two Sig­giewi St.Ni­cholas-Mel­lieha Tri­tones 46-55; Star­lites-Mar­vels Power Plus 47-72 St.James Hos­pi­tal Un­der-16 Men Star­lites-Hiber­ni­ans 68-40; Lux­olGzira Ath­leta 46-76 St Lu­cia Ground: IASC League II 8.30am B’Kara SJ-Rovers U.; 9.45am B’Buga T.-Safi AFC; 11am Mgarr F.Zur­rieq W. Bas­ket­ball Ta’ Qali: MSV Life women’s league 11.15am Gzira Ath­leta-Hiber­ni­ans; 2.45pm Caffe MOAK_Depiro; Bank of Val­letta men’s league 1pm BUPA Luxol-Star­lites; 4.30pm Cyn­ergi Depiro-Hibs Hockey Cor­radino: 9am Com­mu­nity Chest Fund fes­ti­val. Vol­ley­ball Cot­ton­era Sports Com­plex: Women’s U-18 1.30pm Balzan Fly­ers-Paola; Women’s league first round 3.30pm Swieqi Phoenix-Birkirkara Vol­ley­ball; Men’s league first round 5.30pm Fleur-de-Lys-Mgarr. Shoot­ing Bid­nija: 10am Skeet and Dou­ble trap com­pe­ti­tion for the Gen­ovese Shield. Birzeb­buga: 10am Trap com­pe­ti­tion for the Cup win­ners

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