Djokovic Leads Unbeaten Serbs Into Final Eight
Novak Djokovic and Team Serbia are ready for the Final Eight.
The Serbians finished off a perfect stretch in Group A on Wednesday, beating Chile 2-1 to finish 3-0 in ATP Cup group play in Brisbane. Now they'll prepare for the Final Eight in Sydney, where Serbia will face a still to be determined opponent on Friday.
“Sydney's got a big Serbian community, hopefully the support can be as good as it was here, even better. It's a team competition, it's how I personally treat it, and that's how it feels for all of us. So having that journey through various places in Australia together feels like a World Cup to us a little bit, which I've never felt,” Djokovic said.
“It's quite exciting, to be honest. And now we are a family. We have been together now almost 10 days, and keep on going, so hopefully the success will follow as well.”
The World No. 2 improved to 4-0 (3-0 singles, 1-0 doubles) and clinched the tie win against Chile. Djokovic beat Chile's Cristian Garin 6-3, 6-3, coming back from a break down in the second set to finish the match on a five-game run.
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He dropped only four first-serve points (26/30) and has yet to lose a set at the inaugural 24-team tournament (d. Anderson, Monfils).
Dusan Lajovic gave Serbia the lead by beating Chile's Nicolas Jarry 6-2, 7-6(3) and concluding his Group A singles matches with a 2-1 record. Lajovic won 56 per cent of Jarry's second-serve points and broke three times for the 94-minute victory. In doubles, Chileans Nicolas Jarry/Alejandro Tabilo beat Nikola Cacic/Viktor Troicki 6-3, 7-6(2).
But everyone's play has pleased Serbian captain Nenad Zimonjic, who is optimistic about the team's chances at the Final Eight.
“I was surprised in a positive way with everything. First, with the support that we had here, the passion from the fans, especially the Serbian fans, how many of them came. Second of all, we finished pretty late the season. Players didn't have much time to rest and then to prepare. But the level that they brought here from the first match was really high. I thought both from Dusan and from Novak, where I was surprised the most was the level of the doubles that Novak played [against France].
“For me that was the best match I've seen him play in doubles against a really good team. And Viktor also played well in the doubles,” Zimonjic said.
“Really looking forward to Sydney. We're very positive that the atmosphere in the team was great and everybody enjoyed it.”