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From Pilic to Cilic: What a tradition of Croatian tennis in the name of Davis!

Beautiful, athletic, proud. And also Said, with its fertile land, 56,594 square kilometres, jutting into the Balkans and overlooking the Adriatic Sea.

Croatians produce many champions in team sports, From football to water polo, from ice hockey to basketball and volleyball, and many also in individual disciplines, from alpine skiing with the exceptional Janika Kostelic to tennis with World number two Goran Ivanisevic and the unforgettable Wimbledon champion who entered Bilic’s furrow and Vranulovic in turn transplanted to Ancic and many others.

The Bosnians embrace Ivan Ljubicic and Marin Cilic, And make them third in the world. A signature so broad and so credible amongst speculators that it prompted Maria Çekak to become the first woman to referee in the Wimbledon final, in July of this year, between Novak Djokovic and Matteo Berrettini.

Croats have the sun, they have the sea, they have a sports culture and they have the right physique and spirit to play, all games. They also have the strength of an inherited tradition, says this third final in Madrid of the most important team competition between nations, taking place since 1900.

The 2005 final was exciting and historic, with Ivanisevic and Ancic in the singles and the Ancic-Ljubicic duo achieving glory with the first 3-2 in the United States, 4-1 for Romania, 3-2 again for Russia and a 3-2 final against Slovakia, moreover in Bratislava, with the decisive singularity of unlucky Mario Ancic on Mertenac.

Even after his faltering Federer at Wimbledon in 2002, he reached the semi-finals on the sacred grass of the sport, but since 2007, as the number 7 in the world, he fell into a mononucleosis spiral and had to give up this activity.

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In 2018, Croatia won the last edition of the cup in the old format, defeating Canada, Kazakhstan, the United States, and in the final 3-1 France, in Lille, with Cilic and Koric singles, Dodig and Pavic doubles, and Skogor’s reserve. , on inferior paper by Boyle, Chardy, Tsonga, and Herbert-Mahut.

Not surprisingly, thanks to their players’ very strong association with the flag, red and white are now back in the final even with the new formula, in Madrid. Despite the first-place finisher, Cilic, having lost three times out of four in the derby with the strongest of his opponents, Beros for Hungary, mistaken for Italy and Djokovic for Serbia, the team was able to respond by substituting the injured Coric in a big way. With the amazing Berne Gogo, 23 years old is only 279th from the world and a regular frequenter at the Challenger circuit. Then he posted the first and second doubles on the ATP Tour, Mate Pavic and Nikola Miktic, who had unbeatable results.

Gojo fits into the sexy and mysterious groove of split tennis players: the predecessor was left-handed Nikola Bilic who in the sixties to seventies reached sixth in the world, winning 9 titles on the ring. However, Nikki remains famous not for his victory in the US Open in 1970 or the final at Wimbledon in 1962, but because of a resounding solidarity boycott of 81 fellow Temple members when he was disqualified by Croatian Federtines and thus disqualified from the Majors. Not responding to Davis’s call.

As a coach, he also guided Djokovic in his first steps in professionalism, at his Munich academy, but also made history as the only captain without a player to have won Davis with two different nations: with Germany (in 1988, 1989 and 1993), and with Croatia ( 2005).

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Then he was chancellor when Serbia won the cup (in 2010).

Ten years later, Zeljko Vranulovic had a split tennis stick, with 8 finals on the ring, touching one of the four Grand Slams, with the final at Roland Garros 1970; He was the captain of the Croatian Davis team, and remains the director of the Monte Carlo Championship.

Goran Ivanisevic is also from Split, the great left-handed hitter who in 1994 reached number two in the world: “Sampras ruined my career,” he always says, recalling the unfortunate crossings with the more foreboding “Pistol Pete,” above all the two finals in the Wimbledon in 1994 and 98.

Goran successfully broke the temple taboo in 2001. Davis then won and coached Marin Cilic himself, which led to him to a Grand Slam victory, at the 2014 US Open. Sheila then took the lead and beat both the teacher and Ljubicic – coach Roger Federer The Director of TV and Talent of the Day – Davis also won. At least in a Croatia jersey, the Medjugorje hub set the national record with 42 overall successes (32 singles) – 20 defeats (14), to Ljubicic 36-19 and Goran 33-11.

Although Ivanisevic, who has defended the colors of Croatia since the birth of this nation, and thus from 1993 to 2003, previously, from 88 to 91, represented Yugoslavia, and therefore has a higher budget overall, with 48-15 (28- 9) ) in the singular. Marin is still unbeatable in terms of comparisons made, 30, awaiting the 2021 final. It’s no surprise that Davis’ leader is next: after all, at 33, in the name of Croatia’s best tradition, his path already seems clear.

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Queenie Bell

"Introvert. Avid gamer. Wannabe beer advocate. Subtly charming zombie junkie. Social media trailblazer. Web scholar."

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