Argentina, Croatia forge D. Cup final | mb.com.ph | Philippine News
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Argentina, Croatia forge D. Cup final

Paris – An emotional Leonardo Mayer led Argentina past defending champions Great Britain and into their fifth Davis Cup final on Sunday where they will face Croatia in November’s title showdown.

The 29-year-old Mayer, a late replacement for Juan Martin del Potro, secured Argentina’s place in their first final since 2011 with a 4-6, 6-3, 6-2, 6-4 win over Dan Evans in the crucial rubber of their semifinal in Glasgow for a 3-2 victory.

Croatia, the 2005 champions, sealed their ticket to the November 25-27 final on home ground after Marin Cilic romped to a 6-3, 6-2, 7-5 win over Richard Gasquet and an unassailable lead over nine-time champions France in Zadar.

Argentina has a 3-0 winning record over Croatia in the Davis Cup, winning quarterfinals in 2002, 2006 and 2012.

Mayer’s victory, his 11th in 14 Davis Cup singles rubbers, ended Britain’s hopes of retaining the trophy they won for the first time in 79 years with a win over Belgium last year.

It also justified captain Daniel Orsanic’s decision to rest 27-year-old del Potro who had played for eight hours in winning a five-hour marathon singles rubber over Andy Murray on Friday before losing Saturday’s doubles alongside Mayer against the Murray brothers.

“I am very emotional,” said Mayer, whose ranking has slipped from 21 to 114 in the world.

“I haven’t been able to play because of injury so I am delighted to be back on form. I do not know what it is about the Davis Cup it brings out the best in me.”

Earlier Sunday, world number two Andy Murray had to leave the court for a medical timeout in the third set but returned to wrap up a 6-3, 6-2, 6-3 victory over Guido Pella which made it 2-2 in the semi-final.