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Davis Cup Final: Croatia 2 – 1 France

Ivan Dodig returns during the doubles rubber on Saturday (Photo credit: Mario Ćužić/HTS)

France has pulled one point back in the 2018 Davis Cup final after the doubles rubber on Saturday. 

With Croatia leading the final 2-0, it was a must-win match for France when Nicolas Mahut and Pierre-Hugues Herbert took on Croatia’s Ivan Dodig and Mate Pavić. 

The experienced French team made the most of the few chances that were offered up in a close match, winning in four sets 6-4, 6-4, 3-6, 7-6.

Pavić and Dodig had to contend with the large, parochial home crowd and were the first to be broken in the seventh game of the opening set. Herbert would then hold his serve and brought up the first set for the French with an ace. 

At 4-3 in the second set, Herbert would double-fault to give Croatia the first break-point of the second set but the visitors could not capitalise. In the next game, Dodig would double-fault to give France the break. Mahut would serve to give France a 2-0 lead. 

A forehand volley from Pavić which would go long gave France the break in the opening game of the third set. Herbert and Mahut, with the crowd now fully behind them, had the opportunity to break again to go 3-0 up but failed to make the most of the chances.

Croatia would break back to level at 3-3 after an unforced error from Herbert and then break again to win their fourth straight game to lead 5-3. Pavić would serve out to send the match into a fourth set.

Croatia would have three break points in the opening game of the fourth set but could not manage to convert. Croatia would save 3 match points when Pavić served out from 0-40 down at 5-4. The set would be decided in a tie-break which would go France’s way giving them the match.

Marin Čilić will have the first chance to get the one point Croatia needs on Sunday when he takes on most likely Jermey Chardy in the opening match. Borna Ćorić will play in the last much if required either against Jo-Wilfried Tsonga or Lucas Pouille.

(Photo credit: Mario Ćužić/HTS)

France 1- 2 Croatia

Friday:

Chardy – Ćorić – 2-6, 5-7, 4-6

Tsonga – Čilić – 3-6, 5-7, 4-6

Saturday:

Herbert/Mahut – Dodig/Pavić – 6-4, 6-4, 3-6, 7-6

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