Croatia vs Argentina
The final major event for the year takes place over the weekend when Croatia play host to Argentina in Zagreb. The home side is gunning for their 2nd Davis Cup trophy to add to their 2005 title, whilst Argentina are aiming to win their first ever title. I don’t think the indoor hard courts will favour a particular team but the home advantage should help Croatia. Let’s have a look at the possible matchups.
Singles #1 – Marin Čilić vs Juan Martín del Potro
Huge matchup between 2 former US Open champions. This match could prove pivotal to the result of the tie and I expect this one not to disappoint. It’s a tough one to pick but I’m backing del Potro to take the chocolates in this one.
Singles #2 – Ivo Karlović vs Federico Delbonis
A very interesting matchup between the Croatian veteran and the Argentine number 2. Karlović has the big serve but Delbonis is a left-hander, which can have the tendency to disturb the rhythm of right-handers. Karlović has been playing some good tennis this year and has claimed 2 ATP titles. He is currently ranked 20 in the world and I think he should win this one.
Doubles – TBC
The doubles rubber always plays a massive part in the outcome of the Davis Cup final. Over the past decade, only twice has the winning side dropped the doubles rubber in the final. Ivan Dodig will almost certainly play for Croatia, most likely with Marin Čilić. Dodig is a doubles specialist and is undefeated in Davis Cup doubles this year. It’s very difficult to pick who Argentina will put together as their doubles pair. They don’t have a specialist doubles player as such and for that reason I think the home side will have the advantage here.
Reverse Singles #1 – Marin Čilić vs Federico Delbonis
Delbonis has never defeated Čilić and I think he will be up against it should Argentina choose to select him for the first reverse singles. Regardless, I think Čilić will be too strong for whoever the Argentines select.
Reverse Singles #2 – Ivo Karlović vs Juan Martín del Potro
This match-up (should it occur) will probably be the closer one of the reverse singles rubbers. However I think del Potro should be too strong for big Ivo and will get the job done.
I believe this weekend will come down to two particular matches. Čilić vs del Potro and the doubles rubber are enormous matches and I think that if one of the nations can win both of these, they will almost certainly win the tie. I’m expecting some great tennis but I think that Croatia will be too strong given their depth of players and the advantage of having a doubles specialist.