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Cilic beats Gasquet to send Croatia into Davis Cup final

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ZADAR, Croatia (AP) Marin Cilic swatted aside Frenchman Richard Gasquet in straight sets on Sunday to send Croatia into the Davis Cup final for only the second time.

The 2014 U.S. Open champion won 6-3, 6-2, 7-5 to give Croatia an unassailable 3-1 lead with one singles rubber left to play.

Croatia won its only final 11 years ago away to Slovakia and will play either Argentina or Britain in the final.

Cilic was Croatia’s inspiration at the Kresimir Cosic Hall in Zadar, winning both his singles and teaming up with Ivan Dodig on Saturday to stun top-ranked doubles pair Nicolas Mahut and Pierre-Hugues Herbert.

Gasquet had beaten the big-serving Cilic in two of their three career meetings, but was no competition this time.

In the first set, Cilic broke Gasquet in the eighth game and then held to clinch the set, saving a break point at 30-40 down.

He took command in the second set, securing consecutive breaks and holding for a 5-1 lead. He then held to love putting Croatia within touching distance of the final.

Pinning Gasquet to the back of the court, Cilic broke him at the start of the third set.

Although Gasquet broke back, Cilic broke him in the 11th game for 6-5 and then clinched victory after following up a strong serve with a high volley.

Cilic is 21-9 overall in singles and 7-6 in doubles.

Borna Coric was scheduled to play Lucas Pouille in the final rubber.

Nine-time champion France played without Gael Monfils and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, who were both ruled out by knee problems.

Goerges to play Kasatkina in Kremlin Cup final

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MOSCOW (AP) Julia Goerges will seek to end a six-year wait for a title when she faces Daria Kasatkina of Russia in the Kremlin Cup final.

The seventh-seeded Goerges recovered from a second-set slump to beat Russian player Natalia Vikhlyantseva 6-2, 2-6, 7-5 in their semifinal Friday.

Victory for Goerges in Saturday’s final would end a run of six losses in finals stretching back to 2011, when the German player won in Stuttgart. Three of those losses came in the space of two months this summer.

Earlier Friday, Kasatkina reached her second WTA final of the year when she beat 2014 runner-up Irina-Camelia Begu 6-2, 6-3.

Kasatkina’s strong returns punished Begu’s serve and restricted the Romanian to holding serve just once in each set.

The 20-year-old Kasatkina is seeking her second career title after victory in Charleston in April.

In the men’s draw, Damir Dzumhur of Bosnia and Herzegovina booked a place in the semifinals by defeating 2012 champion Andreas Seppi of Italy 4-6, 6-2, 6-4.

Pablo Carreno Busta out of Kremlin Cup

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MOSCOW — Top-seeded Pablo Carreno Busta was knocked out of the Kremlin Cup in the second round by Daniil Medvedev 6-3, 6-3 on Thursday.

The Russian broke 11th-ranked Carreno Busta twice in each set.

Medvedev’s win sets up a quarterfinal against Bosnian qualifier Mirza Basic.

Earlier, Russia’s Daria Kasatkina booked a place in the semifinals of the women’s draw, beating Aliaksandra Sasnovich of Belarus 6-4, 6-3.

Standing between Kasatkina and her second career final is Irina-Camelia Begu of Romania, who prevailed against qualifier Vera Lapko of Belarus 6-3, 4-6, 7-5 in their quarterfinal.

The other women’s semifinal pits Germany’s Julia Goerges against Russian Natalia Vikhlyantseva.

Goerges, the last seeded player left in the draw, saw off Lesia Tsurenko 6-3, 6-4. Vikhlyantseva eliminated Alize Cornet, winning their quarterfinal 4-6, 7-5, 6-3 despite needing treatment on her left thigh.