Croatia defeated Argentina in Group A of the Davis Cup by Rakuten Finals at the Unipol Arena in Bologna. In the singles, Borna Gojo beat Sebastian Baez and then Borna Coric sealed the tie with a win over Francisco Cerundolo.
The second match of the day was a battle from the beginning. Croatia's Coric and Argentinian Cerundolo traded breaks in the first games but the score remained tied until Coric took advantage of a hesitant service game by Cerundolo to take the first set 6-4.
In the second, Coric broke early to take a 4-2 lead. But Cerundolo, knowing that Argentina was on the brink of losing its chance of qualification, raised his game to start connecting powerful forehands to force the tiebreak.
The tension increased in the breaker, Cerundolo missed an easy volley that would have given him two set points. This proved crucial as the Argentine failed to recover and Coric cruised to take the match 6-4, 7-6(6).
In the first match, Borna Gojo put Croatia into the lead, defeating Sebastian Baez 6-1, 3-6, 6-3.
The result meant that Argentina had to win the two remaining points if they were to keep any hope of having a mathematical chance of qualifying for the Final 8 in Malaga.
Gojo was in control of the first set from the beginning with his two main strengths, his serve and forehand, in perfect working order.
The second set was a different affair. Baez was feeling more at ease on court and his shots started to go deeper and lower making it more difficult for the Croatian to connect. It took 65 minutes for Baez to have his first two break points of the match; he converted the first to level.
Both players kept the same strategies for the third set. Baez looked for long rallies, and Gojo relied on his serve – firing off 10 aces – as well as his forehand. Gojo got an early break in the second game but Baez managed to break back. The Croatian finally got another break and this time Baez could not recover, suffering his 10th defeat in a row.
In the doubles, Nikola Mektic and Mate Pavic made it 3-0 for Croatia with a 6-2, 7-5 win over Maximo Gonzalez and Horacio Zeballos.