ZADAR: Croatia raced to a commanding 2-0 lead over the United Status on the opening day of their Davis Cup semi-final in Zadar on Friday.
In the first rubber Borna Coric, world number 18, justified his favourite’s tag and defeated Steve Johnson 6-4, 7-6 (7/4), 6-3.
Croatia’s top player and world number six Marin Cilic then defeated Frances Tiafoe, a Davis Cup débutant 6-1, 6-3, 7-6 (7/5) to leave the hosts on the brink of the final.
Croatia could book a date with either France or Spain in the november title match in Saturday’s doubles in which Ivan Dodig and Mate Pavic will face Mike Bryan and Ryan Harrison.
Croatia have made the final twice, in 2005, when they were crowned champions, and 2016.
Croatia have seen off 2007 Davis Cup winners the USA on each of their four previous Davis cup meetings.
Jim Courier’s team is missing two top players — John Isner, world number 10 who has stayed home due to family reasons, and injured Jack Sock.—AFP