Borna Coric gave Croatia the lead over Australia in their Davis Cup semi-final on Friday, sweeping aside Thanasi Kokkinakis in straight sets.
World number 26 Coric triumphed 6-4, 6-3 in 92 minutes on the back of six aces and 18 winners as the two-time champions edged closer to a return to the final having lost to Russia in the 2021 title match.
Former US Open champion Marin Cilic tackles Alex de Minaur in Friday's second tie.
Australia will be looking to stay alive and reach a first final since 2003 when they won the last of their 28 Davis Cup crowns.
Coric, Cilic and doubles specialist Mate Pavic, who could be called into action later Friday, all played in the Croatia team which were crowned champions in 2018.
The eventual winners will face either Canada or Italy in Sunday's final.