By Jake Davies
- Argentina win the 2016 Davis Cup title after beating Croatia in the final
- Juan Martin Del Potro defeats Marin Cilic 6-7 (4) 2-6 7-5 6-4 6-3
- Federico Delbonis defeats Ivo Karlovic 6-3 6-4 6-2
ZAGREB, CROATIA – Argentina break their duck in Davis Cup Finals, winning the title for the first time in their history, in an outstanding come-back.
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Juan Martin Del Potro defeats Marin Cilic 6-7 (4) 2-6 7-5 6-4 6-3
Two great performances on the concluding day of the Davis Cup final helped Argentina seal the first Davis Cup trophy in their history. The Argentinian team fought back from a 1-2 deficit to become just the third team since 1981 to turn around that scoreline in order to win the Davis Cup.
Juan Martin Del Potro produced another inspiring effort and performance in his rise to the top of the game as he kept Argentina in the running for the Davis Cup crown. When Marin Cilic was two sets to love up, it looked as if Croatia were on the brink of a special victory in their home of Zagreb, but Del Potro stormed back into the match to keep the tie alive.
At the beginning of the bout, Cilic found a lot of success by attacking the backhand of Del Potro. The Argentinian often adopted the slice and that allowed Cilic to have more time on the ball, thus taking time away from his Croatian opponent. Like all good champions do, Del Potro found a way to get the victory and accepted the challenge that stood in front of him.
Del Potro delivered one of the mightiest of comebacks to level the tie for his country as he rallied back from two sets down for the first time in his career. This was the second time this year at Davis Cup where Cilic faltered after taking a two sets to love lead. The other was at the Davis Cup Quarter-Final, where he lost to Jack Sock.
Are we seeing one of the greatest tennis comebacks in the form of Del Potro? During some of his bouts with a torrid wrist injury, there were times where he may have debated whether he could return to the tennis court and reach the great heights of before. Winning the Davis Cup for the first time could be the stepping stone to more grand slam success in 2017.
Federico Delbonis defeats Ivo Karlovic 6-3 6-4 6-2.
Ivo Karlovic and Federico Delbonis were the two players selected from the fifth and decisive rubber of the Davis Cup Final. It is always great to see the No.2 players given this kind of platform – in some cases a platform that they may never see again throughout their career.
Delbonis, who was facing an opponent ranked over twenty places above him in the rankings, lost just the nine games in a faultless performance to win Argentina’s first Davis Cup.
The match was a contrast in styles. Karlovic played most of the points from inside the baseline with a view to dominate the forecourt, while Delbonis had to play a perfect match from the baseline in order to heap the pressure on the tall Croatian.
Karlovic continuously moved forward, but Delbonis always had an answer as he responded with lethal passing shots from both corners, which sent him to victory in the most comfortable of victories.
This will be remembered as one of the great Davis Cup finals. The story of a resurgent Del Potro and the rise of an unlikely winner in the fifth rubber being Delbonis.
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