Novak Djokovic and team Serbia were eliminated from the ATP Cup Friday in Melbourne. The defending champions failed to make the semifinals after losing a tight contest to Germany 2-1.
Djokovic beat Alexander Zverev in the singles 6-7(3), 6-2, 7-5 to level the tie at 1-all after Jan-Lennard Struff had beaten Dusan Lajovic.
Partnering with unheralded Nikola Cacic, Djokovic’s 11-match win streak in single and doubles came to an and as Zverev/Stuff took the decider 7-6(4), 5-7, 10-7 to send Germany into the semifinals against Russia.
“I think we played maybe a little bit more aggressive. In the end, we maybe took a few more shots, but it was so tight it could have gone both ways,” said Alexander Zverev. “At the end of the day, when you win the doubles decider 10-7 in the third set there’s not much between the two. We’re just super happy right now.”
Djokovic suffered his first loss at the event.
“I thought we both played well,” Djokovic told the crowd. “He definitely had a big serving match. It was so difficult to play against him today. Missiles from the other side of the court, both first and second serve. He was going for it, not too many double faults. You’ve got to give him credit for being courageous and trying his best… Overall it was a very enjoyable match.”
Zverev and team Germany will now set their sets on a powerful Russian team led by Daniil Medvedev and Andrey Rublev.
“Obviously, great team. Daniil Medvedev great shape. Rublev very good shape. But we too are also in good shape, so going to be very interesting, intense tie and I hope we can beat them,” said Germany team captain Mischa Zverev.
Spain needed one win against Greece to advance to the semifinals and they got it after Pablo Carreno Busta beat Michail Pervolarakis 6-3, 6-4. Greece took the next two ties for a 2-1 win, but Spain now goes through to face Italy.
“I knew that we needed this point. With this victory, we are into the semi-finals, so it was very important to us,” Carreno Busta said.
Spain, though, is not scheduled to play Rafael Nadal who is still ailing with a lower back injury. That leaves Roberto Bautista Agut to face Matteo Berrettini followed by Carreno Busta against Fabio Fognini.
Italians are doing well at the ATP Melbourne 1 Great Ocean Road, Jannik Sinner will take on Karen Khananov in one semifinal and Stefano Travaglia tests Thiago Monteiro in the other.
In the Melbourne 2 Murray River Open semis, Jeremy Chardy duels Dan Evans and then Felix Auger-Aliassime battles Corentin Moutet. Chardy earned a walkover from Stan Wawrinka who withdrew. Moutet upset Grigor Dimitrov while Auger-Aliassime saved a match point in a third round win over Gerasimov as players at both 250s were required to play two matches on a busy Friday.
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