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Croatia vs. Ecuador 5:0

(source daviscup.com)

Dodig and Veic complete Croatian whitewash Davis Cup by BNP Paribas debutant Antonio Veic and Ivan Dodig won their dead rubbers over Julio-Cesar Campozano and Ivan Endara respectively to complete Croatia’s 5-0 home drubbing of Ecuador on Sunday.

Veic celebrated an emotional maiden appearance in the competition with a 64 76(4) victory against Campozano, while Dodig eased to a 61 63 win over Endara, rounding off a fine weekend for the home team.

Veic ecstatic after maiden win

Veic twice broke Campozano’s serve to take the opening set after dropping his own in the eighth game, before winning a see-saw second set in the tiebreak. Veic broke to take a 3-2 lead, then dropped his serve and broke again to edge 5-3 ahead.

Campozano rallied back and won the next three games before the Croat held his serve and clinched the tiebreak, dropping to his knees in front of team captain Goran Prpic after one hour and 53 minutes of play.

“I am so happy to be a part of this team and even though this was a dead rubber, the victory means a lot to me because I had to repay team captain Prpic’s faith in me,” Veic said in a courtside interview. “I was nervous and didn’t sleep very well, but it was a dream debut and I am now looking forward to playing on the ATP tour,” he added.

“If we play against Serbia in my hometown Split, I could die a happy man after the tie should Prpic name me in the squad for what would be an epic duel,” the 22-year old said in a separate interview with the ITF.

Plain sailing for Croatia

The battle of two Ivans produced few thrills as Croatia’s Dodig put Ecuador’s Endara on the back foot from the start and held his serve throughout the one-sided contest.

The outcome was a fair reflection of the entire weekend, with Croatia in charge all the way after its number two player Ivo Karlovic came from two sets to one down to beat Nicolas Lapentti in the opening singles rubber on Friday.

The writing was on the wall for the Ecuadoreans after the elder of the Lapentti brothers lost the thrilling rollercoaster, as Cilic hardly broke sweat in a straight-sets defeat of Giovanni Lapentti to give Croatia a 2-0 lead.

Saturday’s doubles produced more of the same when Cilic and Karlovic teamed up for the first time in the Davis Cup and swept aside the tiring Lapentti brothers, giving Croatia an unassailable 3-0 lead before Sunday’s dead rubbers.

Croatia v Serbia match-up

Croatia now faces neighbours Serbia at home in the quarterfinals. The Serbs came out on top against USA to set up their first ever meeting with the Croatians since the two countries became independent nations following the former Yugoslavia’s break-up. In all likelihood, it will produce a titanic, mouth-watering contest in the Adriatic holiday resort of Split in July.

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