Rijeka [Croatia], February 6 (ANI): Borna Coric helped Croatia book a place in the Davis Cup Finals for a fourth time after ceasing Austria's hopes of a final-day fightback in their 2023 Qualifier in Rijeka.
The World No. 23 Coric saw off former World No. 3 Dominic Thiem 7-6(3), 6-2 in a match that lasted for one hour and 45 minutes to stop Jurgen Melzer's side from earning any further acceleration after Lucas Miedler and Alexander Erler registered a surprise victory over the home side in the doubles.
Austrian's doubles pair upset Nikola Mektic and Ivan Dodig, the doubles World No. 8 and No. 11, respectively, 6-3 7-6 (11) in one hour and 50 minutes to deny a Croatian clean sweep after the Borna Coric and Borna Gojo had won their singles on the opening day.
This gave Thiem a chance to force a fifth match on Sunday afternoon, but the 2020 US Open winner battled for consistency against Coric, who is currently recovering from a wrist injury.
While Coric was unbeatable, Thiem committed 38 unforced errors to Coric's 23, and despite refocusing and hitting right back after giving Coric the first break of the match in the seventh game, the Croatian won the first set tie-break.
Coric upped the tempo in set two as Thiem's error count increased, clinching Croatia's fifth consecutive Davis Cup triumph on home soil in front of ecstatic supporters.
"It was not easy, but I knew that this is Davis Cup, and this is tennis, and that anything can happen. I was ready after the doubles match. I was pretty nervous, but I had time to prepare myself for the match. I came out on the court and I was playing great tennis today," ATP.com quoted Coric as saying after ending Austria's resurgence.
"I enjoyed the fight, it was great. It was great to play in front of the home crowd. I was very happy with the way I was playing on the important points. I was very aggressive so I'm super happy with the win," said Coric.
"It's a huge disappointment. Obviously my match today, but also the fact that I couldn't help to give my team, my country a point. We lost 1-3, I lost two points out of that, so it's not a good weekend for me, so the disappointment is big right now," Thiem said. (ANI)