(Tennis news) Australia reached their first Davis Cup final for the first time since 2003 after defeating Croatia 2-1 in the semi-finals. Borna Coric gave Croatia the lead with a 6-4, 6-3 victory over Thanasi Kokkinakis with the 26 year old hitting 19 winners and committing just nine unforced errors. Australian number one Alex de Minaur then defeated former US Open champion Marin Cilic 6-2, 6-2 in a match that lasted 44 minutes to level the tie, resulting in a decisive doubles match.
Australian pair Max Purcell and Jordan Thompson then came back from a set down to defeat Nikola Mektic and Mate Pavic 6-7 (3), 7-5, 6-4 in two hours and 14 minutes. Before the match, Australia’s captain Lleyton Hewitt put Thompson in for Matthew Ebden and the pair broke for a 6-5 lead in the second frame and held serve to force a decisive third set. Purcell and Thompson then broke again to take a 4-3 lead and then capitalised on their next two service games to put Australia into their first final since 2003 – when they won their 28th title.
Coric said “I was watching the guys playing Davis Cup when I was injured and doing my rehab. To play for Croatia is an amazing feeling for me.” De Minaur said “Marin’s a hell of a competitor, a veteran player of our sport that has accomplished amazing things. I knew what to expect, so I knew it was never going to be easy. This is what this team is about, that never-say-die attitude.” Italy will take on Canada in the second semi-final on Saturday with the final on Sunday.