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.
PARIS — A thrilling five-set victory took a toll on Gael Monfils, whose withdrawal from the French Open handed No. 6 Holger Rune a walkover to the third round.
The 36-year-old Frenchman said he has a strained left wrist and can’t continue.
He battled Sebastian Baez for nearly four hours on Court Philippe Chatrier before beating the Argentine 3-6, 6-3, 7-5, 1-6, 7-5 in a first-round match that ended at 12:18 a.m. local time.
The victory was Monfils’ first at tour level this year, as the veteran was coming back from heel surgery.
“Actually, physically, I’m quite fine. But I had the problem with my wrist that I cannot solve,” he said. “The doctor say was not good to play with that type of injury. Yesterday was actually very risky, and then today definitely say I should stop.”
Monfils reached the semifinals at the French Open in 2008 and made it to the quarterfinals on three other occasions.
PARIS — Swedish tennis player Mikael Ymer was docked about $40,000 after being disqualified for smashing his racket against the umpire’s chair at a tournament the week before he competed at the French Open.
An ATP Tour spokesman said Ymer forfeited about $10,500 in prize money and 20 rankings he earned for reaching the second round of the Lyon Open. Ymer also was handed an on-site fine of about $29,000.
The spokesman said the ATP Fines Committee will conduct a review of what happened to determine whether any additional penalties are warranted.
The 56th-ranked Ymer, who is 24 and owns a victory over current No. 1 Carlos Alcaraz, was defaulted in Lyon for an outburst late in the first set against French teenager Arthur Fils last week.
Ymer was upset that the chair umpire would not check a ball mark after a shot by Fils landed near a line. As the players went to the sideline for the ensuing changeover, Ymer smacked the base of the umpire’s stand with his racket twice – destroying his equipment and damaging the chair.
That led to Ymer’s disqualification, making Fils the winner of the match.
After his 7-5, 6-2, 6-4 loss to 17th-seeded Lorenzo Musetti in the first round at Roland Garros, Ymer was asked whether he wanted to explain why he reacted the way he did in Lyon.
“With all due respect, I think it’s pretty clear from the video what caused it and why I reacted the way I reacted. Not justifying it at all, of course,” Ymer replied. “But for me to sit here and to explain? I think it’s pretty clear what led me to that place. I think that’s pretty clear in the video.”