Novak Djokovic of Serbia hits a return in his males’s singles match towards Daniil Medvedev of Russia on the ATP Cup tennis match in Sydney on January 11, 2020. William WEST / AFP
Novak Djokovic was at his battling greatest to topple gutsy fifth-ranked Daniil Medvedev on an epic Saturday and ship Serbia into the inaugural ATP Cup last.
The world quantity two was given the best platform by a composed Dusan Lajovic, who floor down Russia’s Karen Khachanov within the opening singles 7-5, 7-6 (7/1) handy his nation a 1-0 benefit.
And the 16-time Grand Slam champion, who shall be focusing on an eighth Australian Open title this month, got here by means of a top-draw contest 6-1, 5-7, 6-4.
It gave Serbia an unassailable 2-0 lead forward of the doubles to arrange a gathering with both the Nick Kyrgios-led Australia or Rafael Nadal’s Davis Cup champions Spain within the last on Sunday.
“It was an exceptional match. Lots of rallies and very exhausting. Daniil Medvedev is one of the best players in the world and he showed today why,” stated Djokovic, who on Saturday pulled out of subsequent week’s Adelaide International after a tricky ATP Cup.
“He’s difficult to break from the baseline, he’s tall and has a good serve. This was the most difficult challenge I have had so far this year.”
Djokovic dropped a set for the primary time within the match throughout his quarter-final encounter with Canada’s Denis Shapovalov, however shortly assumed management towards Medvedev.
Playing in a lot cooler situations than the warmth and humidity that hit Nadal on Friday when he misplaced within the singles, Djokovic broke within the first set to go 3-1 up and by no means regarded troubled.
He broke once more for 5-1 and served it out in simply 31 minutes.
The Russian, who had gained their final two encounters, appeared in hassle when he was damaged once more within the opening sport of the second set however then astonishingly roared again.
He lifted his degree to create 4 break factors within the subsequent, changing when Djokovic misjudged a ball he thought was going out.
Another break put him 3-1 forward and Djokovic smashed his racquet in frustration as Medvedev took the set to degree the match.
A 3rd set of lengthy, high-quality rallies went with serve till Djokovic obtained the essential edge within the fifth sport, changing a volley to go 3-2 in entrance and Medvedev had no reply.
Lajovic, who gained his first ATP title final yr at Umag, took a 2-0 file into his showdown with world quantity 17 Khachanov.
In their first assembly on arduous courts, he produced a efficiency that belied his rating of 34, displaying composure and a effective array of pictures.
Lajovic discovered a brand new gear throughout his thrashing on Friday of Felix Auger-Aliassime and stated the vocal Sydney followers had fuelled him to ship his greatest tennis.
They had been again in full voice once more on the Ken Rosewall Arena, getting him over the road.
“It was definitely one of the toughest matches for me in my career, concerning the situation, the tension and the importance of the moment,” he stated.
“But the crowd carried me and my team was behind me.”