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Croatia, Argentina deadlocked after first day of Davis Cup final

CCTV.com

11-26-2016 13:13 BJT

The final of the top team tournament in the men's game. Croatia would be hosting Argentina in the championship series. The South Americans are four-time runners-up, and are chasing their first title. Marin Cilic and Croatia, saw off dending champions Great Britain, and are looking to emulate their 2005 triumph when they won their only title.

The first rubber pits 2014 US Open champion Marin Cilic against Federico Delbonis, and the man in red is able to take the opening set, thanks to wicked cross-court forehands like this.

Marin Cilic of Croatia celebrates after the Davis Cup World Group final singles match against Federico Delbonis of Argentina in Zagreb, capital of Croatia, Nov. 25, 2016. Marin Cilic won 3-2. (Xinhua/Miso Lisanin)

Marin Cilic of Croatia celebrates after the Davis Cup World Group final singles match against Federico Delbonis of Argentina in Zagreb, capital of Croatia, Nov. 25, 2016. Marin Cilic won 3-2. (Xinhua/Miso Lisanin)

The second set was closer, but Cilic broke when it mattered most to lead 6-5 and held to go two sets in front.

The left-handed Delbonis would not give-up though, and gave the large Argentine travelling support something to cheer about -- after a lengthy rally -- he whips this forehand winner to go in froint 5-3, and grabs the frame to pull to within 2-1.

Delbonis broke again at the start of the next, and he was at the top of his game as he raced out into a 4-0 lead. With football legend Diego Maradona watching on, the world number 41 took the fourth set 6-1 to force a decider.

The world number six rediscovered his game, while the Argentine seemed to tire, Cilic gets a service winner to seal a 5 set victory, and give his country a 1-love lead int he team tally.

28-year-old puts Argentina level at 1-1 in title round

The second match -- would see Ivo Karlovic in red for Croatia, against Juan Martin del Potro. This is a battle of two giants -- each standing 6'6" or taller.

Del Potro broke Karlovic's serve in the very first game. The rest of the frame went to serve as del Potro took it 6-4.

The second frame would go to a tiebreak -- Karlovic is receiving and on set point, he puts pressure on the del Potro serve, and the Croat is able to take the frame, when the Argentine's poor lob attempt goes wide. We are knotted at a set apiece.

But the Olympic silver medallist is able to get a break in the third, Karlovic cannot control this return, and the Argentine leads 5-3, and takes the set to lead 2-1.

The fourth set looked to be heading for another tiebreak but Karlovic, would be broken late in the frame --- that allowed the world number 38 to hold serve and take it in four sets, evening the final at a match apiece.

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