Cilic gives Croa­tia Davis Cup vic­tory over France

The Gulf Today - Panorama - - SPORT -

Croa­tia de­throned hold­ers France to win the Davis Cup for the sec­ond time as Marin Cilic beat Lu­cas Pouille in straight sets to seal the vic­tory. Cilic won 7-6 (7/3), 6-3, 6-3 to se­cure the ti­tle for Croa­tia for the first time since 2005. Pouille took Cilic to a tiebreak in the first set on the in­door clay in Lille, but could not mount a chal­lenge in the next two, los­ing in two hours, 19 min­utes. It meant Croa­tia won all three sin­gles matches in straight sets with the sched­uled fifth match be­tween Jo-wil­fried Tsonga and Borna Coric a dead rub­ber. France won a sin­gle match, in the dou­bles. “It’s just a dream week­end, we all dreamed of play­ing this well all week­end,” said Cilic. “We did not even con­cede a ser­vice (in sin­gles).” It was the last fi­nal in the tra­di­tional for­mat before a rad­i­cal but con­tro­ver­sial re­or­gan­i­sa­tion of the ven­er­a­ble com­pe­ti­tion. The vic­tory gives Croa­tia some re­venge for their foot­ball team’s de­feat by France in the World Cup fi­nal in July. “We can’t wait to be in Za­greb, like the foot­ballers when they came back from the World Cup,” said Zeljko Kra­jan, the Croa­tia cap­tain. Thomas Pi­eters and Thomas Detry held off Mex­ico and a charg­ing Aus­tralian team to win Bel­gium’s first ever golf World Cup by three shots this week. The pair be­gan the fi­nal day of four­somes ac­tion, where team­mates take it in turns to play the same ball, with a five-stroke lead at Mel­bourne’s Metropoli­tan Golf Club. But Aus­tralia’s Mark Leish­man and Cameron Smith nar­rowed the gap to two com­ing down the home straight with three birdies in a row, and Mex­ico’s Abra­ham Ancer and Roberto Diaz were also clos­ing in. It set up an ex­cit­ing fi­nale. The Bel­gians re­stored their three-stroke lead with a birdie on the 16th but a nervy bo­gey on the next meant they had to keep their fo­cus on the fi­nal hole. A per­fect ap­proach shot eased the pres­sure and they holed out for a clos­ing 68 and a fa­mous 23-un­der-par win, with Aus­tralia and Mex­ico joint sec­ond. Dan­ish de­fend­ing cham­pi­ons Thor­b­jorn Ole­sen and Soren Kjeld­sen carded a 65 to tie for fourth along­side Canada’s Adam Had­win and Nick Tay­lor (66), six be­hind Bel­gium.

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