Croatian National Tennis Team wins Davis
DECEMBER 2005 - After
defeating Slovakia in the team finals, Croatian team has won its first ever Davis Cup by BNP Paribas title. This
puts Croatia as the No. 1 nation on the ITF (International Tennis Federation) Davis Cup Nations Ranking, dislodging
2004 Champion Nation Spain from the top spot. It's a large jump and the first time that Croatia has risen to the
top of the ranking, after finising at No. 11 at the end of 2004.
The Croatian national tennis team was coached by
its Captain Nikola Pilic, himself one of the most successful Croatian tennis players, along with Goran Ivanisevic,
one time Wimbledon winner. The team's players were Ivan Ljubicic, Mario Ancic (who won the last match in the Finals
against Slovakian Michal Mertinak), and Ivo Karlovic.
Ivan Ljubicic was the current No. 1 Croat
player, being the second most successful tennis player in the world in 2005, after Roger Federer. He enjoyed his
best season by winning two ATP titles in eight finals, finishing in Top 10 for the first time (at No. 9
|Davis Cup matches played
between qualifiying countries are usually well attended
Croatia reached the Davis Cup team finals after
beating USA 3:2 in the first round, Romania 4:1 in Quarterfinal, Russia 3:2 in Semifinal, and Slovak Republic 3:2
in the Final.
By winning the Davis Cup, Croatia has become one
of the only 12 nations to have won Davis Cups, out of more than 130 countries which take part in the competition.
Davis Cup began in 1900, when Harvard University student, Dvine Davis, decided to organize tennis competition
between the USA and the UK. He named it after himself and was the first to win the famous Silver Punch
The Croatian Champions team will be honoured
with commemorative stamp this year. The stamp, featuring the Final squad and Captain Niki Pilic, posing with the
famous trophy itself, will be brought out by the Croatian Post Service.
This is one of the highest Croatian sporting
achievements ever since its football (soccer) team won 3rd place in the FIFA World Cup in France in
July 2001 - Croatia's Goran
Ivanisevic wins Wimbledon, after beating Australia's Pat Rafter in the finals match, on the 9. July