With a win that guaranteed Serbia a semifinal matchup with Italy, Novak Djokovic made an announcement about his attendance at the Davis Cup Finals in Malaga.
Less than a week after playing the final match at the ATP Finals in Turin, the world No. 1 defeated Britain’s Cameron Norrie 6-4 6-4 to win his 40th Davis Cup singles victory. This set up a rematch with Jannik Sinner of Italy on Saturday.
Even though Djokovic seemed to be suffering from a cold and was using a tissue to wipe his nose in between games, he managed to go past a struggling Norrie and put on a flawless display of skill and accuracy with his laser-like forehand shooting.
In the first set, Djokovic broke the Norrie serve at 3–2, and he went on to win it even though a heckler interrupted him.
Similar events occurred in the second set, with Djokovic breaking in the first game and going on to win in an hour and forty-one minutes without facing a break point.
With this victory, Djokovic’s streak of victories in Davis Cup singles matches grew to 21, and it is amazing to note that the 36-year-old hasn’t dropped a singles match in the tournament since March 2009.
In his on-court interview, Djokovic praised Cameron Norrie, saying, “He battled hard out there and is a great player.” It feels good to complete the task since I haven’t played many left-handers recently.
“There is never more pressure or incentive than when you play for your nation. We are starting to feel it in our legs after a long season.
We are playing Italy right now. They are a tremendously powerful country. We will spar and give it our best on the court.
After a brilliant performance by Miomir Kecmanovic, who defeated Jack Draper 7-6(2) 7-6(6) in a hotly fought first encounter, Djokovic sealed the victory for Serbia.
Against Kecmanovic, Draper opened with three thunderous aces, giving the hundreds of British supporters in the Martin Carpena arena’s stands an early opportunity to voice their opinions.
Nonetheless, in the first set, the Serbian world No. 55, who was chosen above fellow countryman Laslo Djere, who is rated higher, proved to be a difficult foe because to his unwavering consistency.
At 5-4, Draper’s service produced one of two set-points thanks to a brilliant backhand passing stroke. The British player held to win that game, stymieing one of the break chances with a daring drop shot.
Draper entered the tie-break, but Kecmanovic had an opportunity to establish his dominance as the Brit committed two double faults on his opening serve. The Serbian would not give up, duly winning a superb first set.
In the second set, which was also won by a tie-break, Kecmanovic’s remarkable tennis continued. His consistency allowed Draper little opportunity to have an influence on his service games.
Kecmanovic had the early edge thanks to a stunning lob, and as the clock approached the two-hour mark, the Serb had an opportunity to finish the match since Draper was having trouble returning serves that were aimed wide to his backhand.
“I’m really glad that I was able to stay cool, stay focused, and get the win, but I definitely felt the pressure and the weight of the moment,” Kecmanovic said.
“I’m grateful to be a member of this club. It’s basically a collection of men that have had fantastic careers and have been playing wonderfully. Being a member of that group that has been doing so well simply feels nice.
On Saturday, Serbia will play Italy in the semifinals.