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.
NEWPORT, R.I. — Top-seeded John Isner beat Australian qualifier Matthew Ebden 6-3, 7-6 (4) on Sunday for his third Hall of Fame Open title.
The hard-serving American also won the grass-court event in 2011 and 2012. He has 11th career titles, all at the ATP World Tour 250 level.
“It’s hard to win a tournament,” Isner said. “It’s no small feat to come out here and be the last man standing. I’m very happy about that. It’s been two years since I won a tournament, so I had that weighing on my mind.”
Isner became the second player to win an ATP title without facing a break point since records began in 1991. Tommy Haas also accomplished the feat in Memphis, Tennessee, in 2007.
“I’m very happy with how I played all week,” Isner said. “It was a perfect week and I couldn’t ask for anything better.”
Ebden was playing his first tour-level final.
“It’s a lot of reward for a lot of hard work, a lot of years of sacrifice,” Ebden said. “It’s disappointing, but at the same time I have to be happy with my week.”
NEWPORT, R.I. — Andy Roddick says jokingly he can now keep Roger Federer from a unanimous selection for the International Tennis Hall of Fame.
As a new inductee, Roddick gets to vote on future candidates. He jested ahead of his enshrinement on Saturday that he’ll use it to get back at Federer, who stood in his way during at least four Grand Slam finals.
Roddick joins inductees Kim Clijsters, six-time Paralympic medalist Monique Kalkman and journalist and historian Steve Flink. Tennis instructor and innovator Vic Braden was to be inducted posthumously.
Roddick won one Grand Slam and lost to Federer in the finals four times. He says he doesn’t ask himself what would have happened if he hadn’t come along at the same time of perhaps the greatest player.
He says the first text he got when he woke up Saturday was from Federer. Says Roddick: “He makes it extremely hard not to like him as a person.”