After Serbia dropped the opening rubber in their tie with Kazakhstan, Novak Djokovic righted the ship putting up two points to lead his home country into Friday’s semifinal.
Kazakh Mikhail Kukushkin won a thriller saving four match points against Miomir Kecmanovic to win 7-6(5), 4-6, 7-6(11) in Madrid. The 3 hour, 18 minute affair was the longest of the week, and one of the best wins over Kukushkin’s career.
“It’s special,” said Kukushkin. “For us it’s always special. I’ve played in Davis Cup already 14 years. For us to play for our country, it’s a big honor. That’s why we give everything we can. We always fight till the very last point. Davis Cup matches are always No.1 priority.
“These kind of matches in Davis Cup motivate me to keep playing tennis. We play not for prize money or ranking points. Playing these kind of matches, to be on the big stage, big crowd, TV. It’s such drama on the court. That’s what motivates me to keep playing tennis.”
But Djokovic dashed the Kazakh hopes cruising past Alexander Bublik 6-3, 6-4. And then the World No. 1 teamed with Nikola Cacic in the decider to defeat Andrey Golubev and Aleksandr Nedovyesov 6-2, 2-6, 6-3.
“This is our third match played together and every match is better. We are getting better on the court,” Cacic said. “We had a little bit of a problem in the second set actually, I got a little bit tight.
“But we managed to come back in the third set and I’m really happy.”
On Friday, Serbia will meet Marin Cilic and Croatia and the tough doubles team of Mektic/Pavic.
Tomorrow, Germany will find out who they play in their Saturday semifinal. Daniil Medvedev and Andrey Rublev will take on Sweden.
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