On Tennis: Argentina to Face Croatia, and History of Heartbreak, in Quest for First Davis Cup


Juan Martín del Potro, ranked 38th, will lead Argentina against No. 6 Marin Cilic and Croatia in the Davis Cup finals.

Jonathan Nackstrand/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

Good things do come to tennis players who wait, as Andy Murray reminded us this month by finally reaching No. 1 at age 29.

But Murray’s chase reads like a short story in comparison with Argentina’s longform pursuit of the Davis Cup.

The strongest tennis nation never to win the sport’s premier team competition, Argentina first took part in the Cup in 1923 and first reached the finals in 1981 with Guillermo Vilas and Jose Luis Clerc — no love lost between them — falling short against John McEnroe and the Americans in Cincinnati.

Argentina returned to the finals in 2006, 2008 and 2011. No other nation in the Cup’s 116-year history has reached four finals without winning, and the latest opportunity for heartache comes this week in Zagreb, Croatia, where an Argentine team featuring Juan Martín del Potro takes on a Croatian team featuring Marin Cilic.

“They are the favorites,” del…

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