The final four at the ATP Cup in Sydney gets underway in a few hours. On Friday, favored Spain and Serbia rounded out the semifinals.
Rafael Nadal suffered his first loss falling to David Goffin 6-4, 7-6(3), but the World No. 1 got Spain through partnering with Pablo Carreno Busta to edge Sander Gille and Joran Vliegen 6-7(7), 7-5, 10-7 in the decider to give Spain a tough 2-1 win over Belgium.
“He played a great level of tennis. Doing a lot of things well. And at the same time, for me, it was a little bit under energy, because I was sweating a lot and I lost my energy in the first set,” Nadal said.
“Everybody knows how good David is, and at the same time he’s a great guy so happy for him.”
Nadal also struggled having come from Perth to Sydney in such a short time.
“Coming from Perth we didn’t have a lot of time to adapt and today the conditions were very heavy with humidity. Playing against David in the singles was a very difficult thing. But we are super happy to be in the semi-finals,” Nadal said. “We’re excited to play a very tough one against Australia. We will give our best like we have done all through our careers.”
Spain will now meet host nation Australia who will decide if it’s Nick Kyrgios or Alex De Minaur to face Nadal. Right now they have De Minaur.
“Going to be a big challenge too,” said Nadal of De Minaur. “He’s a great player. Young with a lot of energy.”
The Australians will obviously look to their home crowd for help.
“Obviously it’s going to be a big crowd… We have to use that as much as possible to our advantage,” said Lleyton Hewitt on Friday. “But we’ve got to reset and start again. The boys obviously can come out and use that energy that they got up from yesterday, but we’re going to focus on a totally different team.”
Serbia booked their spot by blanking Canada 3-0. Dusan Lajovic rolled past Felix Auger-Aliassime 6-4, 6-2 then Novak Djokovic clinched it squeaking out a thrilling 4-6, 6-1, 7-6(4) victory over Denis Shapovalov.
“It was an amazing match. One of the closest matches I’ve played against Denis. It was very even match. He played fantastic, very aggressive, served great. We fought both until the last shot,” Djokovic said.
Serbia will now collide with the deep Russians who will put Daniil Medvedev against Djokovic.
“I like to play Novak. The matches with him are something special,” Medvedev said of the challenge. “He’s one of the three best players in history, so of course it was great to beat him a few times, but every match is a new one. Every match is so tough with him and that’s how you progress, so I like to play against these top players.”
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