Tennis: Olympics-Tennis-Mektic and Pavic win first tennis gold for Croatia

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TOKYO (Reuters) – Croatia’s Nikola Mektic and Mate Pavic beat compatriots Marin Cilic and Ivan Dodig 6-4 3-6 (10-6) in the men’s doubles final of the Olympics on Friday to win the first medal of gold of their country in this sport.

It was also Croatia’s first silver medal after three bronze medals at previous Games – two at the Barcelona Olympics in 1992 and one in Athens in 2004.

Mektic and Pavic, who had not played as a duet before this year, also won the title at Wimbledon this month, and Mektic admitted playing his compatriots in the final had been “a bit tricky”.

The silver medalists expressed mixed feelings about their loss.

“We are very proud even though it is a mixed emotion to be so close (to the medal) and not be able to hold the gold medal,” Cilic said.

New Zealanders Marcus Daniell and Michael Venus took bronze as they beat Austin Krajicek and Tennys Sandgren of the United States 7-6 (3) 6-2 to secure their country’s first Olympic tennis medal.

New Zealander Anthony Wilding won a bronze medal in a combined Australasian team in 1912.

“We made history today,” Daniell said, adding that the couple had to endure extreme heat while sharing a small room in the Athletes’ Village which helped to strengthen the bond between them.

(Reporting by Junko Fujita; Editing by Ken Ferris and Ed Osmond)


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