Croatia have a 2-0 lead over the reigning champions France after Borna Coric and Marin Cilic won their singles rubbers in Lille today.
In the first rubber, Coric overcame France’s Jeremy Chardy 6-2, 7-5, 6-3 on the indoor clay surface at the Stade Pierre Mauroy.
After an 11 minute opening game, Coric won 15 straight points to overturn Chardy’s 40-0 lead and help him take the first set.
Despite Chardy’s 14 aces, the French player only had two break point opportunities and was unable to convert either.
The 23-year-old Croatian had far more break point chances but only managed to convert four of the 13 available.
The world number 12 gave Croatia the perfect start, before world number seven Cilic stepped onto the court to face Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.
Formerly the world number five, Tsonga has dropped to number 256 in the world after a year of injury woes.
After two hours and 22 minutes, Cilic took the match 6-3, 7-5, 6-4 as Croatia doubled their advantage and moved to the brink of clinching the Davis Cup crown.
The pressure turns to France’s doubles pair Nicolas Mahut and Pierre-Hugues Herbert in tomorrow’s third rubber against Ivan Dodig and Mate Pavic.
This is a must win for France to stay in the hunt to retain their title.