Sonego loses the first singles against Gojo, then Jannik draws the score on Marin Cilic but in doubles with Fognini fails to overcome Mektic and Pavic
L’Italy comes out in the quarter-finals of Davis Cup, and the Croatia to fly to the semifinals thanks to the 2-1 victory in Turin. It is the double made up of Mektic and Pavic to condemn the Azzurri: the number 1 couple in the world exceeds 6-3, 6-4 Jannik Sinner and Fabio Fognini giving the Croatians the decisive point. In the two previous singles, Sinner’s own undertaking beats Cilic in comeback and temporarily equalizes the defeat of Sonego with Gojo.
The double in the quarter-finals of the Davis Cup against Croatia becomes decisive, but the duo made up of Mektic and Pavic, world number 1 able to win nine tournaments this year, including Wimbledon and the Tokyo Olympics, is too strong. The Italian captain Filippo Volandri relies on Fabio Fognini and (surprisingly with a last minute decision) Jannik Sinner, back from the tiring marathon against Cilic: the Croats impose themselves 6-3, 6-4 without too many problems, relying on their greater experience in specialties and thus snatching the pass for the semifinals. The opponents of Fognini and Sinner are relentless in the serve and very close-knit, who try to impose themselves from the bottom but are inferior in the flying game and in response. Just Sinner commits some naivety at the net, while Pavic takes his partner by the hand and with his left-handed curves 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 awaits the winner between Serbia and Kazakhstan in the semifinals.
Jannik Sinner fights like a lion and manages to straighten the Davis Cup quarter-finals against Croatia in Turin: it’s 1-1 after the two singles. In the second match, the South Tyrolean accomplishes the feat in a real battle and comeback the expert Marin Cilic with the score of 3-6, 7-6 (4), 6-3. At the start nothing can Sinner against a Cilic centered from the baseline and relentless in the service: it is precisely the serve that makes the difference in the first set when the Croatian does not allow even a break ball while Sinner loses his turn once, but just enough to direct the game on the Croatian tracks. Cilic maintains high rhythms and pressure and with his experience as a former number 3 in the world he accelerates immediately even at the start of the second set: break in the first game and at that point the fate of the qualification is all in his hands. The US Open 2014 champion, however, drops to serve for the first time and loses the serve giving back momentum to Sinner, but then another counterbreak arrives that leads Cilic to serve for the match at 5-4. The South Tyrolean does not give up and takes away the opponent’s service again for the 5-5, the set at that point is hoisted at the tie break and Sinner takes advantage of the opportunity by equalizing the set count. We go to the third and the game becomes a very tough point-to-point fight: Sinner’s break at the start, the Croatian’s immediate counterbreak. The audience is excited and when the two and a half hours of play are exceeded an eternal Jannik places another break going 4-3: it is the decisive extension, Sinner is a rock mentally and seems not to feel the fatigue physically overcoming the opponent . Yet another blue break arrives and the miracle is accomplished. “An incredible atmosphere, it was a very difficult game but I never gave up,” says a voiceless Sinner at the end of the match.
Resounding defeat against all odds for Lorenzo Sonego in the first singles of the quarter-finals of the Davis Cup: in his Turin the tennis player unexpectedly falls 7-6 (2), 2-6, 6-2 against 23-year-old Borna Gojo, number 279 of the world and the first prestigious international appearances. The blue starts strong and seems to respect the favorable forecast with extreme ease: ahead 4-1 with the ball of 5-1 in the first set, Sonego has the game in his pocket but at that point the unthinkable happens. The Croatian begins to play very well, shaking off the tensions at the beginning of the match, while the Turinese is surprised and begins to make trivial mistakes. A Gojo manages everything in defense and attack, Sonego gets nervous and the partial goes sensationally to the Croatian at the tie break. In the second set Lorenzo collects ideas, clings to experience and returns to impose his own game as at the beginning of the match, re-establishing the hierarchies. The opponent consequently loses certainties and puts in a series of naiveties that make the set slip away until the final 6-2. It seems the beginning of another game, but in the third set Gojo does not give up and performs a real feat, holding on to the match and eliminating any difference in the standings (252 positions). Sonego mentally collapses and the first point goes to Croatia.