Davis Cup 2018: Semi-Final Preview

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Marin Cilic

TORONTO, ON – AUGUST 10: Marin Cilic of Croatia reacts against Rafael Nadal of Spain during a quarter final match on Day 5 of the Rogers Cup at Aviva Centre on August 10, 2018 in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images)

This weekend sees the return of Davis Cup. With this being the last year of the current format, it will be the last chance for some players to play a tie in front of a home crowd. As well as the semi-final, there are also some world group play-offs with top nations competing.

Croatia vs USA

2016 finalists Croatia welcome USA to Zadar with the target of reaching their second final in three years. It’s the first semi-final for the USA since 2012 and they will be aiming for a first final since 2007, when they last won the competition.

Croatia are favourites here with a very strong team. Marin Cilic and Borna Coric are both in the top 20 in singles with Mate Pavic and Ivan Dodig seeing lots of doubles success. unfortunately for USA, they have a slightly weakened team as they are without Jack Sock and John Isner. If Sock had played, they would have been able to field the best doubles team in the world at the moment with Sock’s recent success with Mike Bryan, however he pulled out injured and was replaced with Ryan Harrison. 

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USA are expected to field Davis Cup debutant Francis Tiafoe and Steve Johnson in singles due to Sam Querrey’s recent poor form. Tiafoe has had a good year, winning in Delray Beach in February, but lacks Davis Cup experience, which the Croatians have. Johnson has only played one live rubber, against Denin Istomin in 2015 which he lost. Also the tie is on clay which suits the Croatians more.

The last time these two nations met in the Davis Cup was two years ago in Portland where Croatia produced a stunning comeback victory.

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