Croatia’s remarkable come from behind win over the United States in tennis’ Davis Cup quarter final in Portland over the weekend has set up a semi-final date with France…
Croatia will play France for a place in the final of the 2016 Davis Cup on the weekend of 16-18 September. Croatia has home advantage for the tie, which can big in Davis Cup tennis, and now it is up to the Croatian Tennis Association to select a surface and venue.
Davis Cup rules mean that the semi-final must be played at a venue with a capacity of at least 7,000. That criteria rules out a number of towns in the country, but Croatia’s most famous tennis player Goran Ivanišević has some advice for the powers at be ahead of the decision.
“Honestly, we need to chose a surface which is best for us, and not the worst for them because they are good on everything. Our best surface is hardcourt, especially as it will be played a week after the US Open on hardcourt. If we play indoor or outdoor it is all the same, but it has to be concrete,” Ivanišević, who was part of the team that won the Davis Cup in 2005, told Jutarnji list.
Goran says atmosphere will be key for the semi-final against a tough French team, and he put his two cents worth in regarding a location for the tie.
“The last two Davis Cup ties I remember with a great atmosphere were in Split, against Romania and Russia,” Goran, who is from Split himself, recalled, adding that he thinks Marin s Čilić can lead this team to Croatia’s second Davis Cup title.
“This is a big tie, a big thing and a chance to see some big players. It is going to be a spectacle. This tie needs a big crowd and a good, noisy Davis Cup one. I know that the IFT says that the venue must have a capacity of over 7,000 people which to me is catastrophic because it means it can be only played in a few cities – Split, Zadar or Zagreb,” he added.
France themselves played a key Davis Cup match two years ago at a football stadium in Lille, does Goran think Croatia should do the same?
“Why not? We can play at Poljud (home of Hajduk Split), Stari plac, Kranjčevićeva stadium…anywhere as long as it is a good atmosphere,” the former Wimbledon champion concluded.