Novak Djokovic furiously kicks racket bag as Serbia crushed in decisive Davis Cup match
Novak Djokovic celebrates Serbia's WC qualification
We use your sign-up to provide content in ways you’ve consented to and to improve our understanding of you. This may include adverts from us and 3rd parties based on our understanding. You can unsubscribe at any time. More info
Novak Djokovic let his frustrations get the better of him during Serbia’s decisive doubles rubber against Croatia. The Croats made it through to Sunday’s (December 5) Davis Cup final after winning their semi-final tie against the world No 1’s team 2-1. Djokovic had kept Serbia alive by winning the second singles rubber but was unable to defeat the world No 1 Croatian pairing of Nikola Mektic and Mate Pavic alongside teammate Filip Krajinovic.
Croatia had gotten off to a winning start in the semi-final tie, as this week’s Davis Cup MVP Borna Gojo defeated world No 33 Dusan Lajovic 6-4 3-6 6-2 to give his squad their first point.
It was the world No 279’s third victory over a top player this week – also beating world No 61 Alexei Popyrin during a tie against Australia and world No 27 Lorenzo Sonego in the quarter-final against Italy – having previously never beaten anyone ranked inside the top 75 in his career.
Djokovic was able to keep Serbia alive in the semi-final, getting closer to his goal of helping his home country win the Davis Cup for a second time, with his previous victory in the squad coming a decade ago.
The world No 1 breezed past 2014 US Open champion Marin Cilic 6-4 6-1 in under two hours to level the tie at 1-1.
JUST IN: ‘100% orchestrated’ – WTA chief confirms fresh ‘Peng Shuai’ email
It meant a place in Sunday’s final came down to the decisive doubles rubber, with Croatia the heavy favourites thanks to the world No 1 pairing of Mektic and Pavic playing for the team.
Ahead of the semi-final, Djokovic himself had admitted it would be tough for Serbia to overcome the two best doubles players in the world, saying: “Of course they have the best doubles pairing in the world, Mektic, Pavic. They are winning most of the matches they are playing. We saw some of the matches in Davis Cup they have played so far, and they are winning comfortably.”
Following his singles victory, the 20-time Grand Slam champion’s doubles partner was switched from Nikola Cacic, who he had played alongside earlier this week, to his higher-ranked countryman Filip Krajinovic.
The two were able to stay level with the top ranked pair for most of the first set, until Mektic and Pavic seized their opportunity while the Serbian duo were serving at 5-6, and broke to take the opener 7-5.
Medvedev joins Djokovic backing WTA stance amid Peng Shuai fears
Kyrgios details main difference between himself and the ‘big three’
Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal or Novak Djokovic – who is the men’s GOAT?
In a rare meeting between the singles world No 1 and the top-ranked doubles team, the momentum was with the Croats going into the second set, as they broke to go 3-1 up.
Djokovic, whose dream of winning the Davis Cup for Serbia was now slowly slipping away, showed his anger when getting broken in the second, kicking his racket bag next to Team Serbia’s bench in a moment of frustration.
The Serbian pair were unable to win another game afterwards, as the world No 1 doubles team produced a masterclass to clinch a 7-5 6-1 victory and book their spot in the final.
They will now face the winner of Saturday’s (December 4) semi-final between the Russian Tennis Federation and Germany.
Speaking after their victory, Pavic said: “Obviously Novak is the best player in the world so, tough to beat that team. We managed to do it.”
Mektic also admitted the team “took advantage of their [Serbia’s] level dropping a little bit” after frustrating Djokovic with their first break in the second set.
The Croatian Davis Cup team has enjoyed success in recent years, winning in 2018 and coming runner-up in 2016, losing to Argentina.
This will be their first final since the Davis Cup format was given a shake-up after the ITF went into partnership with footballer Gerard Pique’s Kosmos company.
Source: Read Full Article