Croatia gained a thrilling doubles victory over Argentina to take a 2-1 lead into the last day of the Davis Cup final in Zagreb.
Marin Cilic and Ivan Dodig beat Juan Martin del Potro and Leonardo Mayer 7-6 (7-2) 7-6 (7-4) 6-3.
In front of a boisterous crowd, Croatia got the key break to go 4-2 up in the third set and they held on for the win.
Victory for Cilic over Del Potro in Sunday’s reverse singles will seal a second world title for the Croatians.
“To finish the year in doubles like this is amazing,” said Dodig afterwards.
“This is our first time playing at home in the final and we want to give everything on the court and push it to the limits. We hope we can finish tomorrow with a victory.”
|Davis Cup final latest score: Croatia 2-1 Argentina (best of five)|
|Friday: Marin Cilic (Cro) beat Federico Delbonis (Arg) 6-3 7-5 3-6 1-6 6-2|
|Juan Martin del Potro (Arg) beat Ivo Karlovic (Cro) 6-4 6-7 (6-8) 6-3 7-5|
|Saturday: Marin Cilic & Ivan Dodig (Cro) beat Juan Martin del Potro & Leonardo Mayer (Arg) 7-6 (7-2) 7-6 (7-4) 6-3|
|Sunday, 13:00 GMT: Marin Cilic (Cro) v Juan Martin del Potro (Arg)|
|To follow: Ivo Karlovic (Cro) v Federico Delbonis (Arg)|
There were no breaks of serve in the opening set but the Croatians dominated the tie-break as Mayer faltered three times under pressure while the home team held their nerve.
Mayer dropped his serve in the third game of the second set but made amends quickly to break Dodig’s as the Argentines eventually forced another tie-break, but the revival was short-lived.
The Croatians turned a 2-1 deficit into a 6-4 advantage with some good serve and volleying before world singles number six Cilic sealed the second set with an easy net point.
Cilic and Dodig again combined to break Mayer in the third set and they were able to close out the match.