SYDNEY, 8 January 2020 – Croatia has failed to reach the Final Eight of the ATP Cup in Australia after losing to Argentina 3-0 on Wednesday night at the Ken Rosewall Arena in Sydney.
Croatia, who were unbeaten after two rounds before tonight’s clash with wins against Austria and Poland, needed to win just one match in the tie to qualify as one of the two best second-placed teams.
In the opening singles match, Marin Cilic took on Guido Pella and after the opening half an hour it looked as if it would be plain sailing for the Croatian.
Cilic broke first to race out to a 4-1 lead before Pella staged a comeback which would see him win three games in a row. The first set would go to a tie-breaker and it was Pella who had the momentum as Cilic begin to make a number of unforced errors and he would take it comfortably 7-1.
Cilic had a chance to break first in the second set when he went 0-40 up in the third game, but unforced errors again cost the Croatian. Cilic had a chance again at 2-2 but he was unable to convert two break points.
Pella would break in the next game and run away with the set and the match, 7-6, 6-3.
Argentina would go 2-0 up when Diego Schwartzman made light work of his match against an out of form Borna Coric. The former world No.11 started the match with two breaks to race to a 4-0 lead before taking the opening set 6-2.
Coric started the second set like the first and would be broken in his opening service game. Coric made a number of unforced errors and there would be no comeback as he would eventually go down 6-2, 6-2 in just 75 minutes.
Ivan Dodig and Nikola Mektic won the opening set in their doubles match against Maximo Gonzalez and Andres Molteni, but the Argentine pair would come back to win the second set and the match in a tie-breaker 3-6, 6-3 (10-2).