Overwhelming favorites Russia taking on Croatia who are looking for their second Davis Cup win after a 2018 triumph. Croatia are a relatively infant country only getting independence in 1992 so they have little pedigree in this competition. Russia are two time winners and have an intimidating lineup in the singles with Rublev and Medvedev one of the best on Tour. Croatia number one player Marin Cilic has had an injury plagued last year or two but his ranking of 30 in the world proves he is still one of the best. He came unstuck against Djokovic in the semis but his teammates pulled Croatia through.

Here he faces Daniil in the second singles rubber after Rublev proved too strong for Borna Gojo. The pattern of the match was set in the first two games, baseline groundstrokes with both waiting to see who blinks first. It is hard to pin point Marin’s strength but it has to be the second serve, usually a kicker. Watch 3-3(30-40), Marin’s back is on the wall facing break point. What he did was to pull Daniil wide making it hard for him to make a dangerous backhand return. Again his baseline grinding paid off with the Daniil error. A very close set inevitably going to a breaker. If one thing has carried through Medvedev in this impressive Davis Cup showing is his first serve. He starts off the breaker with an Ace but quickly falls 4-2 behind. Then with stroke of net cord fortune he pulls it level at 4-4. Turning point was at 8-7 RTF, another unforced error by Marin handing the set to Marin.

The Croatian’s serve was more vulnerable in set two. He got broken in the fourth game at 2-1(30-40). He didn’t have much luck here the net cord was Daniil’s friend setting up the forehand cross court winner. At 5-2 with RTF closing in on a third title, Marin netted what looked like a routine forehand into the net to hand the title to Russia. It was too easy in the second set for Daniil, Cilic showing signs of fatigue from a long two weeks of tennis. It is safe to say if Cilic had won that tie, the smart money will be on the Croats to win having the best ranked doubles team in Mektic and Pavic.