TOKYO, 29 July 2021 – Croatia is guaranteed a gold medal in the men’s doubles tennis at the Olympic Games in Tokyo.
Nikola Mektić and Mate Pavić beat American pair Austin Krajcik and Tennys Sandgren 6-4, 6-4 to reach the final on Thursday.
The world no.1 doubles team broke once in the first set and once again in the second set to advance to their first Olympic final and set up the first ever all Croatian final. This is the first time in 113 years that two teams from the same country are in the final.
In the final they will meet fellow Croatians Marin Čilić and Ivan Dodig. Čilić and Dodig stormed into the final by beating New Zealand pair Marcus Daniell and Michael Venus 6-4, 6-2 earlier in the day.
Mektić and Pavić, who are the number one seeds, will be favourites for the final. They have been unstoppable since teaming up for the first time at the start of the year.
In 2021, they have already won the Rome Masters, the Antalya Open, the Murray River Open, the ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament, the Miami Open, Monte-Carlo Masters , Eastbourne International and Wimbledon.
“We are happy. This is a big thing for Croatian tennis. We are going to enjoy tomorrow. It is going to be an interesting match, we will prepare tactics for them, like they will for us,” Mate Pavić said after the win.
“We are all good friends off the court, tomorrow Croatian fans can relax and not stress as there will be a winner,” Mektić added.
Čilić and Dodig, who are each others ‘best men’, will be hoping to win their first Olympic gold.
“We are all good friends, great friends, we have known each other in the national team for many years. But we are all athletes and professionals. When we go out on the court, we will give our best,” Dodig said.
So far, Croatia has three Olympics bronze medals in tennis, now they add a gold and silver.