The signs that gave hope for the enterprise were in the air, yet that sensational overtaking invoked at the top of his lungs by the Turin bedlam never materialized. In the decisive doubles match for the passage to the semifinals, Fabio Fognini and Jannik Sinner failed to snatch the victory against the more experienced duo Mektic / Pavic.
Sinner, Fognini, Davis Cup
Credit Photo Imago
The Croatians poured the same power onto the pitch that brought them to the number 1 spot in the ranking, as well as the Olympic gold medal and Wimbledon triumph. By virtue of Lorenzo Sonego’s defeat against Borna Gojo in the first match of the singles, Italy is condemned to abandon the ambition to raise the precious salad bowl.
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The inspiration of the Croatian couple nullifies Sinner’s stoic comeback on Cilic, who in the second match of the singles had brought hope back to the Azzurri home: the South Tyrolean, just like in the tie against Colombia, was relaunched by Filippo Volandri in the match of double. The inertia brought by the prodigy of Sesto Pusteria, however, was reabsorbed by the technical supremacy of the Croats. Jannik, during the first set, plays in gusts: powerful and precise with his serve, but fragile and awkward in response to the goal. Conversely, Fabio Fognini jams several times at the stop, facilitating the deadly march of the red and white front.
Mektic and Pavic make the decisive break in the fourth game of the 1st set, incessantly pinching the stretch marks of a still immature, embryonic duo. Fognini and Sinner can not help but grit their teeth, returning five set points to the sender in the eighth game, only to yield to Pavic’s service in the ninth.
Jannik Sinner, Fabio Fognini
Credit Photo Imago
The first set ends at 6-3 in favor of the double number one in the world, who intensifies their storylines in the second set: Mate Pavic rises to the chair starting from the third game of the set, sowing terror at the net and forcing the Azzurri to chase in their own rounds. The automatisms of the Croats do not even grant an easy point to Fognini and Sinner, who stumble at the dawn of the seventh game: some gaffe on the net by Jannik and the double fault of Fabio grant the pass to the Croats, in fact underlining the tactical difficulties already emerged in the first set. The Croatians close the contest after an hour and 18 minutes, without conceding any break point to the Azzurri. The Azzurri’s race is cut short in the quarter-finals. For Croatia, on the other hand, the doors of the semifinal are opened: the national team captained by Vedran Martic awaits the winner of Serbia-Kazakhstan.
The path of Italy in the 2021 Davis Cup
ITALY 2-1 UNITED STATES (GROUP STAGE)
Sonego – Opelka 6-3 7-6
Sinner – Isner 6-2 6-0
Ram/Sock – Fognini/Musetti 7-6 6-2
ITALY 2-1 COLOMBIA (GROUP STAGE)
Sonego-Mejia 6-7 6-4 6-2
Sinner-Galan 7-5 6-0
Cabal/Farah – Sinner/Fognini 6-2, 5-7, 7-6(6)
ITALY 1-2 CROATIA (QUARTER FINAL)
Gojo-Sonego 7-6 2-6 6-2
Sinner-Cilic 3-6 7-6 6-3
Mektic/Pavic – Fognini/Sinner 6-3 6-4
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