(Reuters) - Croatia and France were tied at 1-1 after Friday’s singles in their Davis Cup semi-final clash in Zadar after Richard Gasquet and Marin Cilic both won their matches.
Gasquet, who stood in for the injured Gael Monfils, put the visitors ahead with a no-nonsense 6-2 7-6(5) 6-1 victory against Borna Coric.
Marin Cilic then levelled the three-day tie by beating Lucas Pouille 6-1 7-6(4) 2-6 6-2.
Gasquet, who was called into the team on Wednesday when U.S. Open semi-finalist Monfils pulled out with a knee injury, blazed through the match against Coric, relying on his trademark backhand winners.
“I know how to beat Cilic, it’s going to be a tough match, he’s on his home turf and won in Cincinnati but I know how to play to beat him,” said Gasquet, looking ahead to Sunday’s reverse singles. Coric was hampered by a knee problem that forced him to pull out of the U.S. Open.
Pouille, who beat Rafael Nadal in the last 16 of the U.S. Open, was no match for Cilic, whose serve was too much to handle for the Frenchman. Cilic, the world number 11, dominated his opponent with his powerful forehand and closed it out when Pouille served his fifth double fault.
Saturday’s doubles will feature Nicolas Mahut and Pierre-Hugues Herbert against Marin Draganja and Ivan Dodig.
The winner of the tie will face either Argentina or Britain in the final.
(Reporting by Julien Pretot, editing by Pritha Sarkar)