Sports, Tennis

Serbia reach Davis Cup semi-finals


By AFP
Published : 02 Dec 2021 07:25 PM

World number one Novak Djokovic performed double duty to lead Serbia into the Davis Cup semi-finals for the fifth time on Wednesday with a come-from-behind win over Kazakhstan.

Serbia, the 2010 champions, will face neighbours Croatia on Friday for a place in the final.

Djokovic comfortably preserved his 10-year undefeated Davis Cup singles record when he eased past 36th-ranked Alexander Bublik 6-3, 6-4 in 77 minutes to level the quarter-final at 1-1.

The 34-year-old then teamed with Nikola Cacic to see off Andrey Golubev and Aleksandr Nedovyesov 6-2, 2-6, 6-3 in the decisive doubles.

"I couldn't be prouder of our fighting spirit. We dropped in level in the second set, but we managed to bounce back, stay calm and turn the tide," said Djokovic.

Djokovic had not won a Davis Cup doubles match since 2015 and went into Wednesday's decider on a run of three defeats -- including a loss against Golubev and Nedovyesov in 2016.

Earlier Wednesday, Mikhail Kukushkin saved four match points to defeat Miomir Kecmanovic to give the Kazakhs the opening point of the quarter-final.

Kukushkin, the world 182, triumphed over 69th-ranked Kecmanovic 7-6 (7/5), 4-6, 7-6 (13/11) after more than three hours on court.

"We were unlucky in the first match, we came so close. But Novak was incredible in singles and doubles," said Serbia captain Viktor Troicki who had played alongside Djokovic in the team's last appearance in the finals in 2019.