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Croatia have one hand on the Davis Cup by BNP Paribas after taking the doubles rubber in the 2005 Final here in Bratislava.

Mario Ancic and Ivan Ljubicic have continued their stunning run in the Davis Cup by BNP Paribas this year, defeating Dominik Hrbaty and Michal Mertinak 76(5) 63 76(5) in two hours 48 minutes.

Croatia just needs to win one more rubber to take the title, and Ivan Ljubicic, the man who today extended the record number of live rubbers won by man in a year to 11, will be up first on Sunday with the chance to make that a perfect 12-0. John McEnroe also won all twelve rubbers he played in 1982, but only nine of those were live.

As well as Ljubicic, the clear leader of the Croatian pairing today and the player who once again came up with the big shots on the big points, history is also against the hosts. Only three nations have won the Davis Cup after losing the Final doubles rubber since the Challenge Round was abolished in 1972, and there have been only six occasions on which a nation has turned around a 1-2 deficit in the Final. The last time this happened – and the sole occasion since the introduction of the World Group in 1981 – was in 2002, when Russia won both Sunday singles against France
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