Argentine substitute Leonardo Mayer denied holders Britain a second straight Davis Cup final appearance with a 4-6, 6-3, 6-2, 6-4 defeat of Dan Evans, clinching a 3-2 upset win on Sunday in the World Group semi-finals.

World number 114 Mayer, now the winner of his last nine Davis Cup singles ties, came good for the visitors after ironman Andy Murray levelled at 2-2 while running on fumes as he as he kept Britain in the chase 6-3, 6-2, 6-3 over Guido Pella. Evans was no match for Mayer who handed the Briton a 12th Davis Cup loss in two and three-quarter hours.

"I am very emotional. I haven't been able to play because of (shoulder) injury so I am delighted to be back on form," the Mayer said. "I don't know what it is about the Davis Cup it brings out the best in me."

Mayer, substituting for Juan Martin del Potro - out of gas after logging more than 10 hours on court from singles and doubles - likely could have gone further after winning the longest ever Davis Cup singles match in 2015 in six hours and 43 minutes.

"I am very proud of all these players, the ones who aren't here, the coaches," Argentine skipper Daniel Orsanic said. "Leo has played very good Davis Cup matches before. He has that feeling in his body and even though he is out of the top 100 that is not his level.

"He was a little nervous in the first set but when he found his rhythm he was on top all of the time.

"We had to keep it to ourselves until the last moment so Great Britain were thinking a little bit but we knew from last night that Mayer would play. I believe it will be an honour to play another final but today we will celebrate a semi-final victory."                                                 Murray lost in opening singles to Del Potro but teamed up with his brother to give Britain the doubles point.

The Argentines will travel to Croatia for the November 25-27 final after Marin Cilic assured his side of only its second final appearance.

The former US Open winner clinched the victory as he thrashed Richard Gasquet of France 6-3, 6-2, 7-5, hammering 14 aces and producing 21 winners.

France's Lucas Pouille then defeated Marin Draganja in the dead fifth rubber to make the winning score 3-2.

"When you look at the atmosphere, it’s an incredible feeling. It’s been a dream weekend for us," Cilic said. "I played incredible tennis. I produced a great performance for all the crowd. I can’t be more proud than right now. "We have always been playing well in Davis Cup. It’s something that’s in your heart. It was a tough tie but this wonderful crowd inspired us.

"We can now look forward to what should be a great final."

Croatia made its only other appearance in the title match in 2005, when Ivan Ljubicic - now coach of Roger Federer - led his nation past Slovakia in Bratislava.

"We played so many ties away, we had been waiting to play at home and now we just won in front of our home crowd it's amazing," Croatia captain Zeljko Krajan said. "Marin was our leader all the way, he won everything despite the pressure that was on his shoulders." 

Related stories

Latest news

Syrian opposition rules out future role for President al-Assad

The Syrian opposition said Friday it would not accept any role for President Bashar al-Assad in the future of the war-torn country, reacting to a recent US shift saying that removing al-Assad is no longer a priority for Washington.

Russian Army integrates breakaway forces of Georgian province

Parts of the small fighting forces of the Georgian breakaway province of South Ossetia have been placed under Russian military control, Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu said on Friday.

Czech Republic's Pilsner Urquell beer is now Japanese

Japanese brewing company Asahi completed its takeover of the Czech brewery Pilsner Urquell on Friday, Asahi said in a statement.

Judge approves 25-million-dollar settlement of Trump University case

A US district judge on Friday approved a 25-million-dollar settlement of lawsuits and state fraud allegations against Trump University, the US president's now-defunct business venture.

Former Thai premier Thaksin to junta on reconciliation: 'Cut me out'

Former Thai prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra on Friday announced that he is not interested in the junta-led reconciliation process, three days after the junta handed him a half-a-billion-dollar tax bill for his past business deal.

Dalic: We welcome possible deal between Agrokor and banks

The government welcomes the possibility of an agreement being concluded between the Agrokor food company and creditor banks, and the bill on vitally important companies is not a fallback plan but the result of the government's care for the overall economic and financial stability of Croatia, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Economy Martina Dalic told a press conference in Zagreb on Friday.

Croatia, China sign action plan for cooperation in agriculture

The Croatian and Chinese ministries of agriculture on Friday signed an action plan for cooperation in the field of agriculture for the period 2017-2018, the Croatian ministry said in a statement.

ZSE indices up, Agrokor shares in focus of investor interest

The Zagreb Stock Exchange (ZSE) indices on Friday rose by more than 1.8%, with stocks of the Agrokor food and retail concern being in the focus of investor interest again.

Berlin police defend handling of Berlin market attacker

Berlin police defended themselves on Friday against accusations that they stopped surveillance on Berlin Christmas market attacker despite knowing in June 2016 he was dangerous.

Croatia, creditors tailor emergency measures to save tottering giant

Croatia's tottering retail and food giant Agrokor reached an agreement with its creditors, putting its debts standby and allowing it to continue working during emergency restructuring, the Croatian branch of Austria's Erste Bank said Friday.

Agrokor's creditors say standstill agreement to go into force today

A standstill agreement regarding the Agrokor concern's existing financial obligations to banks will take effect on Friday, additional capital will be injected into the concern in the coming days and the concern will be actively restructured, which includes a change of its management, it was said on Friday after a meeting between Agrokor's suppliers and creditor banks.

Palestinians, UN slam Israel's new settlement plan

Palestinians, Israeli activists and the UN lambasted the government of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Friday, a day after it gave the go-ahead for the first new West Bank settlement in a quarter of a century.

South Sudan rebels release three abducted foreign oil workers

South Sudanese rebels have released three foreign engineers they abducted in early March in the oil-rich Upper Nile region, Foreign Affairs Ministry official Mawein Makol Arik said on Friday.

Turkish opposition: Imprisoned party chief has gone on hunger strike

The head of Turkey's pro-Kurdish opposition party has launched a hunger strike from prison.

European leagues threaten Champions League schedule clashes

The European Professional Football Leagues (EPFL) on Friday threatened schedule clashes on Champions League matchdays in an ongoing dispute with the governing body UEFA.

Danish court revokes citizenship of IS volunteer

A Danish appellate court on Friday stripped a man of his Danish citizenship for volunteering to fight for the extremist Islamic State in Syria.

Banks and Agrokor agree on key elements of standstill agreement

Member banks of the coordinating committee of financial creditors and representatives of the Agrokor food company have in principle agreed on key elements of a standstill agreement, which is expected to be signed later today, announcing changes in the company's management team, Erste Bank said in a statement on Friday afternoon.

Syrian man on trial in Sweden; mosque attack labelled terrorism

A Syrian man went on trial Friday in the southern Swedish city of Malmo, charged with terrorism and arson after an attack last year on a building used as an assembly hall by Shiite Muslims.