Djokovic won the first match after the US Open – Serbia in 1/4 Davis Cup! And Spain was eliminated
Alexander Nasonov September 15, 2023, 20:20 Moscow time Audio version: Your browser does not support the audio element.
It appears that Rafael Nadal, who was hoping to help the team in the playoffs, will not play in the 2023 season.
This week the group stage of the 2023 Davis Cup World Group is being played in four European cities. On Friday, September 15, the final matches of the 2nd round were played. The main star of the events was 24-time Grand Slam champion, world number one Novak Djokovic.
The famous Serbian tennis player decided to help the national team get a ticket to the quarterfinals, despite the fact that last Sunday he defeated Daniil Medvedev in the final of the US Open. But Carlos Alcaraz, US Open semi-finalist, decided to save his strength. It’s a shame, because Serbia and Spain were in the same group, so Djokovic could meet again the main young star of modern men’s tennis.
Medvedev and Alcaraz are resting and Djokovic is eager to fight! And he will play for Serbia in the Davis Cup.
Novak physically could not come to the Serbian national team camp at the beginning of the first round. On Tuesday, September 12, the compatriots of one of the best tennis players in history easily defeated the Koreans, winning all three matches: two singles and one doubles. Djokovic arrived a little later in Valencia, where the Group C matches are being played. And I managed to talk to the journalists, answering some of his questions.
In particular, Novak commented on the words of three-time TBS champion Stan Wawrinka. Let us remember that the Swiss found the culprit for the low attendance at Davis Cup matches. In his opinion, it is the former Barcelona and Spanish national team player, Gerard Piqué, now head of the Kosmos group, responsible for organizing the tournament.
According to Djokovic, the fault lies not with Piqué, but with the International Tennis Federation (ITF). “I do not support Piqué’s criticism because it is not his fault. The ITF is the organization that allowed the format change and made the final decision. Piqué came with his company and opted for tennis. If anyone has to be criticized, it is the ITF. The format needed changes, but what happened was that we went from one extreme to the other,” Marca quotes the Serbian.
The Davis Cup is emerging from its crisis. There are many top players in the groups that Djokovic leads
And today, September 15, Novak was already in service. Before the match against the Spanish, the Serbs understood that victory in this match would guarantee them a ticket to the quarterfinals. In the first match of the day, Laslo Djere faced Albert Ramos-Viñolas. The Serbian confidently beat the Spaniard 6:4, 6:4. In each of the sets, Laslo made a break, and this was enough for him to achieve overall success. Albert never faced a break point throughout the game.
Thus, Djokovic, whose opponent was Alejandro Davidovich-Fokina, already knew that his victory would guarantee Serbia a place in the quarterfinals. In the first set everything was decided in the eighth game, in which the tie was eight times. Novak still took the opponent’s serve, after which he served for the set without problems: 6:3 in 52 minutes. Davidovich-Fokina did not have a single break point during the match.
In the second set, Davidovich-Fokina led 4-1 with a break, but then Djokovic really turned on, took the next five games and took the matter to victory: 6:3, 6:4 in 1 hour 49 minutes.
The doubles match in the meeting between Serbia and Spain no longer has importance in the tournament, since the victory in any case remained in the hands of the representatives of the Balkan Peninsula: 3-0 or 2-1. In addition to Serbia, the Czech Republic advanced from Group C to the quarterfinals, also winning both of their matches. On Saturday, September 16, these teams will compete for first place in the quartet.
But Spain and the Republic of Korea were left out of the top eight. This should be especially offensive for the representatives of the Iberian Peninsula, because all the playoffs scheduled for November will be played in Malaga. 22-time TBS champion Rafael Nadal, who initially planned to compete for Spain in the playoffs, will ultimately not play in the tournament. However, in theory, there is a possibility that Nadal, who has not played since the 2023 Australian Open, could play in one of the ATP tournaments.
In other groups, the situation was not completely clarified at the time of the article’s publication. However, it should be noted that three-time TBS champion Andy Murray could not hold back his tears after a resounding victory over Swiss Leandro Ridi (6:7 (7:9), 6:4, 6:4). because due to his participation in the Davis Cup he had to miss his grandmother’s funeral.
The group stage of the Davis Cup World Group will end on September 17. Follow all the tournament events in the “Championship”.