AAP Tennis

Coric steers Croatia into Davis Cup final

By AAP Newswire

Borna Coric has kept his cool to prevail in a thrilling winner-takes-all duel with Frances Tiafoe and steer Croatia into the final of the Davis Cup with a 3-2 victory over the United States.

The 21-year-old Coric came from two sets to one down to defeat the 20-year-old Tiafoe 6-7 (7-0) 6-1 6-7 (13-11) 6-1 6-3 and finally subdue a remarkable fightback from the Americans, who had earlier levelled the tie from two down.

"This is the most special moment of my whole life; by far," Coric said.

"If there were not (fan support) I would lose in the fourth set for sure, because my head was deep in the water."

Substitute Sam Querrey had rewarded captain Jim Courier's gamble for the fourth rubber by beating home talisman Marin Cilic 6-7 (2-7) 7-6 (8-6) 6-3 6-4 to take the semi-final into a deciding match.

With everything resting on the first duel between two of the brightest young stars in tennis, Coric overcame the loss of two very contrasting tiebreaks to book Croatia's place against France in the November 23-25 final..

Coric capitulated 7-0 in the first-set breaker and dropped the third set breaker 13-11 but held his nerve to prevail after battle of four hours, six minutes.

Meanwhile, Spain won the final day singles matches against France to give the tie a more respectable 3-2 scorelines.

A day after France sealed their spot in the final when Julien Benneteau and Nicolas Mahut won the doubles to give the hosts an unassailable lead, both teams used substitutes for the reverse singles encounters with nothing but pride at stake.

Albert Ramos Vinolas beat Richard Gasquet 1-6 6-4 14-12 before Marcel Granollers edged Mahut 6-7 (7-2) 6-3 13-11.

Defending champions France have reached back-to-back finals for the first time since 2002 while 2005 winners Croatia are into their third final.