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Davis Cup Final: Nadal leads Spain to victory over Croatia

(Photo credit: Mario Ćužić/HTS)

MADRID, 20 November 2019 – Defending champions Croatia have bowed out of the Davis Cup Finals after losing to Spain in Madrid on Wednesday. 

After losing 3-0 to Russia in the opening round, Croatia have again been defeated by the same scoreline against hosts Spain. 

Croatia were dealt a blow before the start of the match when their number one player, Borna Coric, withdrew from his match against Rafael Nadal due to fitness reasons.

Doubles specialist Nikola Metkic stepped in to take Coric’s place and it was no surprise that he would be outclassed by Roberta Bautista Aguta. The world No.9 dispatched the Croatian in straight sets 6-1, 6-3 in just 57 minutes.

Metkic and Bautista Aguta (Photo credit: Mario Ćužić/HTS)

21-year-old Borna Gojo, who was called in to the side as a replacement for the injured Marin Cilic, then took on Nadal. The Croatian world No.292 put up a good fight against the world No.1 in the opening set and only a break in the 9th game would give the Nadal the lead 1-0.

Nadal opened the second set with a break, but again Gojo would not give up and he made Nadal work for the 6-4, 6-3 win. 

Gojo (Photo credit: Mario Ćužić/HTS)

In the doubles clash, Ivan Dodig and Mate Pavic took on Marcel Granollers and Nadal. There was only one break in the opening set when Spain broke Dodig in the sixth game to give them the set 6-3.

Spain would grab the first break in the second set when they broke to go 4-3 up. Granollers would then hold serve before Nadal held to give Spain the rubber 6-3, 6-4 and the match 3-0.

Croatian fans (Photo credit: Mario Ćužić/HTS)

The group winners and the two best runners-up advance to the quarter-finals. The semi-finals will both be held on Saturday, 23 November, with the final taking place on 24 November.

Nadal shakes hands with the Croatia team (Photo credit: Mario Ćužić/HTS)

The four semi-finalists will also book a place in the 2020 finals, with the two worst teams in the group stage dropping into the Zone Group competition with the other 12 sides to play in the qualifiers. 

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