(November 27, 2016) Argentina rallied from a 1-2 deficit going into the final day to beat Croatia 3-2 to win their first Davis Cup title on Sunday in Zagreb.
In reverse singles, world No. 38 Juan Martin del Potro came back from two sets down for the very first time in his career to beat No. 6 Marin Cilic 6-7 (4), 2-6, 7-5, 6-4, 6-3 in four-hours and fifty-three minutes to level the tie in the opening match at 2-2.
Frederico Delbonis clinched the title for Argentina with a 6-3, 6-4, 6-2 two-hour and nine-minute win over No. 20 Ivo Karlovic in Arena Zagreb.
This was the fifth Davis final in which Argentina participated. They lost in 1981, 2006, 2008 and 2011.
Croatia was trying to win their second title. They were victorious in 2005.
Argentina is only the third team since the World Group began in 1981, to come back from a 1-2 deficit to win the title.
The southpaw, No. 41 Delbonis said “This is fabulous.” “We somewhat felt we could do it despite trailing after the doubles.”
“We played with our heart and tried to do the best.”
“I was calm, I hoped all the time that I could win and I did it,” said Del Potro to media. The 2009 US Open champion injured his pinky in the fifth set. “I’m very happy to hand my team a chance of a victory.”
“It is very difficult to lose such an important match,” Cilic said of the almost five-hour match. “I feel a lot of disappointment.”
“After losing the third set, I was still confident I could win as he looked tired,” Cilic said. “I started pushing a bit too hard, handing him a chance for a comeback.”
“We did what we had to do,” said Argentina’s Davis cup coach Daniel Orsanic. “We could have lost, but the guys were amazing today. Juan Martin won an incredible match and Federico played the best match of his life. I dreamed for this so many times.”
2016 World Group Final
CROATIA 1, ARGENTINA 1
Venue: Arena Zagreb, Croatia
Marin Cilic (CRO) d. Federico Delbonis (ARG) 6-3, 7-5, 3-6, 1-6, 6-2
Juan Martin del Potro (ARG) d. Ivo Karlovic (CRO) 6-4, 6-7(6), 6-3, 7-5
Ivan Dodig / Marin Cilic (CRO) d. Leonardo Mayer / Juan Martin del Potro (ARG) 7-6(2), 7-6(4), 6-3
Juan Martin del Potro (ARG) d. Marin Cilic (CRO) 6-7 (4), 2-6, 7-5, 6-4, 6-3
Federico Delbonis (ARG) d. Ivo Karlovic (CRO) 6-3, 6-4, 6-2