Friday 14th September 2018

Event of the Day: Day 1 of the Davis Cup Semi-Finals

Our event of the day is the first day of the Davis Cup semi-finals. Reigning champions France play Spain at Stade Pierre-Mauroy in Lille, whilst the second semi-final pits Croatia against the USA at the Krešimir Ćosić Hall inZadar. 32-time champions the United States are the most successful side in Davis Cup history, however they have not won the competition since 2007. Croatia meanwhile have one title to their name, and were runners-up two years previously in 2016. Today’s action will feature the two singles rubbers. The highly talented 21-year-old Borna Ćorić, ranked 18 in the world, will play world number 30 Steve Johnson. American Johnson won the only previous meeting between the pair back in 2017. However, the youngster Ćorić has had the season of his life, which has included his best showing at a grand slam and a victory over the great Roger Federer.
The second rubber of the day will see world number six and former US Open Champion Marin Čilić versus 20-year-old Frances Tiafoe. Jack Sock is a notable absentee for the USA due to injury, and his 6’3” presence will certainly be missed. France’s title defence has gone swimmingly so far, with relatively straight forward wins over the Netherlands and Italy seeing them safely through to the semi-final stage. Benoît Paire will make his Davis Cup debut in the opening rubber for the French against world number 21 Pablo Carreño Busta. This is followed by Lucas Pouille against Roberto Bautista-Agut. Spainard Bautista-Agut has emerged victorious on three of their previous four meetings. Spain last tasted Davis Cup success in 2011. Their chances of repeating this feat have been dealt a blow due to injury to the talismanic Rafael Nadal. With Davis Cup glory tantalisingly close, expect a terrific opening day of tennis in France and Croatia.
Honourable mentions around the globe go to the AFL semi-final between Hawthorn and Melbourne at the Melbourne Cricket Ground. Hosts Hawthorn are looking to avoid a second straight-sets exit in three years after they were beaten by Richmond last week. Additional sporting action in Australia comes from the NRL semi-final between the Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks and the Penrith Panthers at the Allianz Stadium. Cronulla will certainly fancy their chances, having already beaten Penrith twice this season. Meanwhile in Rugby Union, Gloucester play Bristol Bears at the Kingsholm Stadium in the Premiership. Elsewhere in the UK, the third day of flat racing takes place at Doncaster Racecourse at the St Leger Festival. At St Andrews, a mouth-watering East Midlands derby takes place in the Championship, as Birmingham host West Brom. In the SPL, Celtic travel to St Mirren, whilst in the Bundesliga, Dortmund welcome Frankfurt. In Ligue 1, Paris Saint-Germain host St Ettiene, and in La Liga Rayo Vallecano travel to SD Huesca. The Vuelta a España continues in Spain, with stage 19 beginning in Lleida and concludes 157 kilometres later in Andorra. Golfing action can be found in France, with Day 2 of the Evian Championship on the LPGA Tour. On the European Tour, the second day of the KLM Open gets underway in the Netherlands. World class tennis on the WTA tour is on display at the Japan Women’s Open as well as at the Coupe Banque Nationale in Canada . The World Volleyball Championships continue in Italy and Belgium, whilst the Rowing World Championships enter their sixth day in Bulgaria. MLB action comes from Yankee Stadium, where the series between the New York Yankees and Toronto Blue Jays begins.
Whatever you’re watching, enjoy!
Photos by ATP World Tour

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