Nikola Mektic and Mate Pavic delivered on Sunday at the Davis Cup Finals to seal Croatia’s qualification from Group D in Turin.
The pair has won nine tour-level titles this season and showed their experience to move past Fabian Marozsan and Peter Nagy 7-6(6), 6-2 in one hour and 30 minutes to seal a 2-1 win for Croatia against Hungary.
“We wanted to win and give a statement and now we will go into tomorrow’s match with confidence,” Mektic said. “We won a tight first set again, but we are happy to win.”
In the first rubber on Sunday, Croatian Nino Serdarusic moved past Marozsan 6-4, 6-4 after 72 minutes. The World No. 242 was strong on serve, winning 95 per cent (36/38) of points behind his first delivery and struck seven aces.
Hungary then levelled the tie when Zsombor Piros upset World No. 30 Marin Cilic 4-6, 7-5, 6-4 after two hours and 35 minutes. The 22-year-old broke five times and hit 26 winners to triumph.
Croatia wins the group, having also beaten Australia in Turin, and plays Italy in the quarter-finals on Monday.
Colombia ended its Davis Cup Finals campaign with a 2-1 victory against the United States, but it was not enough to secure its qualification from Group E in Turin.
In the decisive doubles rubber, Juan Sebastian Cabal and Robert Farah led Reilly Opelka and Jack Sock 2-0 in the first set when Sock was forced to retire due to injury.
Earlier, Frances Tiafoe had given the United States a 1-0 lead when he edged Nicolas Mejia 4-6, 6-3, 7-6(7) in two hours and 41 minutes.
The United States needed to win the tie 3-0 to have a chance of qualifying for the quarter-finals, and Tiafoe gave the former champion’s hope, firing 11 aces and winning 84 per cent (53/63) of his first-serve points to triumph.
However, John Isner was unable to follow in Tiafoe’s footsteps, losing to Daniel Elahi Galan 6-3, 3-6, 7-6(5) in two hours and three minutes.
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