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Croatia in Davis Cup quarter-finals

Defending champions Croatia advanced to the quarter-finals of the Davis Cup, as Ivan Ljubicic and Mario Ancic teamed up in doubles to give Croatia an unbeatable 3-0 lead over Austria.

india Updated: Feb 12, 2006 16:16 IST

Defending champions Croatia advanced to the quarter-finals of the Davis Cup, as Ivan Ljubicic and Mario Ancic teamed up in doubles to give Croatia an unbeatable 3-0 lead over Austria.

Ljubicic and Ancic rallied to beat Julian Knowle and Jurgen Melzer 3-6, 3-6, 6-4, 6-4, 8-6 to advance to a meeting with Argentina, who took a 3-0 lead over Sweden on Saturday.

Croatia became the first defending champions in the last three years to win their opening tie in the subsequent years edition of the global nations tournament.

It took a courageous comeback to secure the victory with two matches left in the best-of-five tie.

Knowle and Melzer dominated early, breaking Ancic twice in the opening set.

The Croatians got their first service break in the 10th game of the third, and Melzer dropped his serve again in the 10th game of the fourth to set up the dramatic finale.

Croatia gained the early edge with another break of Melzer in the sixth game, but the Austrians fought back with break of Ancic. The Austrians held off the Croatians in the 12th game before finally succumbing.

Ljubicic and Ancic had put themselves securely on the road to victory on Friday with singles wins.

Ancic defeated Melzer 6-7 (2/7), 6-7 (4/7), 6-4, 6-4, 6-3, while Ljubicic posted a 6-2, 6-2, 6-4 victory over Stefan Koubek.

Argentina booked their shot at the champions with a doubles victory for David Nalbandian and Agustin Calleri, who had played together only twice before.

First Published: Feb 12, 2006 16:16 IST