Coric to lead Croatia against Canada in Davis Cup

Source: Xinhua| 2018-02-02 01:15:16|Editor: yan
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OSIJEK, Croatia, Feb. 1 (Xinhua) -- Marin Cilic will lead Croatian team in the first round tie of the Davis Cup against Canada here, just four days after losing his first final at the Australian Open.

Croatian captain Zeljko Krajan, however, opted to save his most powerful weapon for doubles match on Saturday and possible decider on Sunday.

"He doesn't have any problem and he is not injured but at this moment he is still not fully prepared," Krajan said after the official draw held in Osijek on Thursday.

"He could've played a long match on Friday and we didn't want to risk losing him for the rest of the tie. It's better for our team to save him for the weekend."

21-year-old Croatian prospect Borna Coric will play against Peter Polansky in the first match on Friday, followed by 27-year-old Viktor Galovic taking on 18-year-old Denis Shapovalov, who has received two ATP awards in 2017 as the Most Improved Player and Rising Star.

Time zones are not the only thing that is changing for Cilic. He'll have to adapt his game from the fast paced hard courts of Melbourne Park to slower red clay.

Red clay should also be a beneficiary for Croatian No. 2 player Borna Coric.

"Polansky won't be easy to beat but I am in great shape. I've practiced hard for the last five or six days and I am finally healthy," Coric said.

Galovic said, "My serve will be crucial. If I'll start the match well, it will be a big plus for me. I didn't expect to play that good on an indoor clay court but I started feeling good on it since the first day of practice. I am quite confident that I can come out as a winner."

Ivan Dodig is returning to the team after taking a break from Davis Cup in 2017 and he should provide a big boost for Croatian pair for Saturday's match against 45-year-old Daniel Nestor and 27-year-old Vasek Pospisil.