Australia to face Croatia in Davis Cup SF


Australia now know their rivals in the Davis Cup semi-finals, after two-time champions Croatia reached the last four of the tournament for the sixth time with a 2-0 win over hosts Spain.

Marin Cilic rallied to clinch the winning point for Croatia with a 5-7 6-3 7-6 (7-5) victory over Pablo Carreno Busta.

Borna Coric had earlier given his side the lead with a 6-4 7-6 (7-4) win over Roberto Bautista Agut.

With Carreno Busta up 5-4 in the third-set tiebreaker and two points away from forcing a decisive brace, Cilic fired an ace to equalize then coolly continued to seal the win in three hours and 13 minutes. .

Croatia, who finished runners-up to Russia in last year’s Davis Cup final, will face Australia in Friday’s semi-final in Malaga (2am Saturday AEDT).

Fights by Jordan Thompson and Alex de Minaur had given Australia a 2-0 victory over the Netherlands on Tuesday to secure their place in the last four.

A missed Cilic managed to hold serve in the opener despite four double faults and this inaccuracy on the service line was a sign of things to come for the Croatian, who mixed 20 aces with 15 double faults.

Cilic started to find his rhythm in the second set where he managed to consolidate a break for a 5-2 lead and then forced a decider.

After the two players combined for four breaks of serve over a six-game stretch of the third set, Carreno Busta held on to a 5-4 lead but Cilic also steadied the ship and managed to push it up to a tiebreaker where he quickly fell behind 4-1.

In the opener of the day, Coric was solid from the service line as he fired 12 aces and turned away the only break point he faced en route to claiming victory in just under two hours.

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