Lille, November 25, 2018 - For the second time since playing under their own tricolor and 13 years after the first triumph, Croatian tennis players are on the top of the world. On a hot terrain in French city of Lille, Željko Krajan's protégées defeated the host France - one of the greatest tennis nations of all time – with 3-1. Marin Čilić brought the winning point to Croatia in Sunday's triumph over Lucas Pouille with 3-0, in sets 7-6 (3), 6-3 and 6-3.
The fact that Davis Cup is the longest team competition with a 118-year tradition and that 2018 is the last year of competition in the present format gives an additional charm and value our tennis players’ success.
- We are deservingly the World Champions and it is a great pleasure after the failure in 2016. People will talk for a long time who was the last winner of Davis Cup in this format and I am happy that Croatia was the last trophy winner - said Head Coach Željko Krajan, in 2005 player of the winning national team and today providing a coach’s seal to conquering the prestigious trophy.
Our tennis players reached the overall triumph of 3-1 over the French owing to the initial victories of Borna Ćorić over Jeremy Chardy with 6-2, 7-5, 6-4 and Marin Čilić over Jo-Wilfried Tsong with 6-3, 7-5 , 6-4. In the Saturday’s pair competitions, Pierre-Hugues Herbert and Nicolas Mahut defeated Ivan Dodig and Mate Pavić with 6-4, 6-4, 3-6, 7-6 (3) for, as it turned out, a comforting French streak. Since Čilić had already won the title of World Champions in the first Sunday match with Pouille, Borna Ćorić did not need to play another single match.
The triumph of our tennis players in Lille was attended by several thousand Croatian fans who celebrated gracefully the historical success with the world champions.
Leading officials of the Croatian NOC - President Zlatko Mateša and Secretary General Josip Čop - sent a congratulatory message to the Croatian National Tennis Player Team:
Our dear tennis players,
By the second climb to the top of the World, as the last winners of Davis Cup in this format, you have made extremely proud the fellow countrymen in the homeland and emigration. On behalf of the Croatian Olympic Family, we congratulate all of you, the Head Coach, members of the professional staff and the Croatian Tennis Federation on winning the historic title of World Team Champions. (Cr.NOC/vk)