Sonego loses the first single against Gojo, then Jannik draws the result on Marin Cilic, but in the doubles with Fognini it fails to Mektic and Pavic
L’Italy comes in the quarterfinals of Davis-Cup, and the Croatia thanks to the 2-1 victory in Turin fly into the semi-finals. It is the double of Mektic and Pavic that condemns the Azzurri: the number 1 couple in the world exceeds 6-3, 6-4 Jannik Sinner and Fabio Fognini give the Croatians the crucial point. In the two previous singles, Sinner’s own company beats Cilic on the comeback and temporarily compensates for Sonego’s defeat with Gojo.
The double in the quarter-finals of the Davis Cup against Croatia will be decisive, but the duo of Mektic and Pavic, the world’s number one who won nine tournaments this year, including Wimbledon and the Olympic Games in Tokyo, are too strong. The Italian captain Filippo Volandri relies on Fabio Fognini and (surprisingly with a last minute decision) Jannik Sinner, back from the exhausting marathon against Cilic: The Croatians prevail 6: 3, 6: 4 without too much problems and build on theirs greater experience in specialties and thus grabbed the pass for the semifinals. The opponents of Fognini and Sinner are relentless and very closely connected on serve, trying to assert themselves from below, but are inferior in flight and in reaction. Just Sinner has a certain naivety on the net, while Pavic takes his partner by the hand and, with his left-handed turns, is a thorn in the side of the joke. The Croatian couple is the strongest in the world and can also be seen tactically, the Azzurri fight but in the end they have to surrender to the applause of the Pala Alpitour audience. Now Croatia expects the winner between Serbia and Kazakhstan in the semifinals.
Jannik Sinner fights like a lion and manages to fix the Davis Cup quarter-finals against Croatia in Turin: it is 1-1 after the two singles. In the second match, the South Tyrolean succeeded in a real fight and comeback of the expert Marin Cilic with a score of 3-6, 7-6 (4), 6-3. At the beginning, Sinner cannot do anything against a relentless Cilic who is centered on the baseline: The serve makes the difference in the first set, when the Croatian does not even allow a break ball, while Sinner loses his move once, but just enough to open the game to steer the Croatian railways. Cilic maintains high rhythms and pressure and with his experience as the former number 3 in the world, he immediately accelerates at the beginning of the second set: Break in the first game and then the fate of the qualification is in his hands. However, the champion of the US Open 2014 falls on the serve for the first time and loses the serve, which gives Sinner momentum again, but then another counterattack comes, which leads Cilic to serve 5: 4 for the game. The South Tyrolean does not give up and takes the 5: 5 serve away from the opponent, the set is raised to a tie-break and Sinner uses the opportunity to equalize the number of sets. We go to the third and the game becomes a very tough fight point by point: Sinner’s break at the beginning, the Croatian’s immediate counterattack. The audience is excited and when the two and a half hours of playing time are exceeded, Jannik takes an eternal break in the direction of 4: 3: It is the decisive extension, Sinner is mentally a stone and does not seem to feel the fatigue that overwhelms the opponent physically . Another blue break comes and the miracle is done. “An unbelievable atmosphere, it was a very difficult game, but I never gave up,” said a voiceless Sinner at the end of the game.
Strong defeat against all odds for Lorenzo Sonego in the first individual of the quarter-finals of the Davis Cup: In his Turin the tennis player unexpectedly falls 7: 6 (2), 2: 6, 6: 2 against the 23-year-old Borna Gojo, number 279 of the World and at the first prestigious international appearances. The blue starts strong and seems to respect the favorable forecast with the utmost ease: 4: 1 with the ball of 5: 1 ahead in the first set, Sonego has the game in its pocket, but at this point the unthinkable happens. The Croatian is starting to play very well, shaking off the tension at the beginning of the game while the Turinese is surprised and starts making trivial mistakes. A Gojo manages everything in defense and attack, Sonego gets nervous and that part goes sensationally to the Croatian in the tiebreaker. In the second movement Lorenzo collects ideas, clings to experience and returns to enforce his own game like at the beginning of the game and to restore the hierarchies. As a result, the opponent loses certainties and applies a series of naivities that let the sentence slip up to the final 6: 2. It seems like the beginning of another game, but in the third set Gojo doesn’t give up and does a real masterwork, holding the game and eliminating any difference in the table (252 positions). Sonego mentally collapses and the first point goes to Croatia.