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U.S. remains one win from Davis Cup semifinals after Croatian rally

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July 16, 2016 05:02 PM

By Ashley Marshall, USTA.com

Team USA is one win away from punching its ticket to the Davis Cup semifinals after the Croatian duo of Marin Cilic and Ivan Dodig upset the Bryan brothers, Bob and Mike, Saturday afternoon in Portland, Ore.

Cilic, who was announced as a replacement for Marin Draganja earlier in the morning, partnered with doubles specialist Dodig in a 6-2, 2-6, 6-2, 6-4 win.

The Croatian victory cut Team USA's lead to 2-1, but captain Jim Courier's team remains in prime position to advance to the final four.

"Obviously we would've loved to close this out today, but we're up 2-1 going in and our singles players have confidence," said Courier. "They won their matches yesterday. We have a lot of work ahead of us, but we're confident."

John Isner, who defeated Borna Coric in straight sets on Friday afternoon, will square off against world No. 12 and 2014 US Open champion Cilic in the opening match on Sunday. Should Cilic even the overall score at two matches apiece, Sock – who rallied from two sets down Friday to shock Cilic – would play a winner-takes-all match against Coric.

On Saturday, Cilic and Dodig combined for 53 winners and eight aces to topple the 16-time Grand Slam champions, who only made nine unforced errors over four sets.

"We just didn't execute," Bob  Bryan said of Saturday's loss. "Weren't making a lot of first serves, weren't getting them in trouble from the start. They started playing well and gaining confidence. They just kind of outplayed us in every aspect of the game today."

Added Mike Bryan: "Credit to them. They made some good returns. Dodig hit a couple backhand winners. Once you get behind the eight ball, you start thinking about it a little bit. I think they just put a lot of pressure with some good returns."

Sunday's play will begin at 11:30 a.m. PT. The winner of the U.S.-Croatia tie will face off against the winner of France-Czech Republic in the semifinals. France currently leads that tie, 2-1.

 

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