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Croatia win doubles to take 2-1 lead over Argentina

Hosts Croatia took a 2-1 lead over Argentina in the Davis Cup final after an inspired Marin Cilic and Ivan Dodig beat Juan Martin Del Potro and Leonardo Mayer 7-6(2) 7-6(4) 6-3 in yesterday’s doubles.

Having overcome more fancied doubles teams in wins over the United States and France en route to the final, Cilic and Dodig produced another outstanding performance to give Croatia a potentially pivotal advantage against Argentina.

“When trailing the Americans 2-0, we needed a miracle to stay in the tie and we’ve had a miracle that’s propelled us all the way to the verge of lifting the trophy,” Croatia coach Zeljko Krajan said.

“We know that Argentina won’t go down without a fight and although they have no room for error, we expect an extremely tough final day.”

There were no breaks of serve in the opening set but the Croatians dominated the tiebreak as Mayer faltered three times under pressure while the home team could not put a foot wrong.

Mayer dropped his serve in the third game of the second set and made amends to break Dodig’s as the Argentines eventually forced another tiebreak, but the revival was short-lived.

The Croatians swiftly turned a 2-1 deficit into a 6-4 advantage with powerful serves and firm volleys before Cilic sealed the second set with an easy net point.

Cilic and Dodig again broke Mayer’s serve in the sixth game of the third set and from there it was plain sailing for the Croatian duo.

Today’s opening reverse singles features a battle of former US Open winners as Cilic takes on Del Potro and Croatia’s Ivo Karlovic faces Federico Delbonis.

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