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Jannik Sinner Knocks Out Djokovic to keep Italy alive in Davis Cup

Jannik Sinner Knocks Out Djokovic to keep Italy alive in Davis Cup

Three opportunities were given to Novak Djokovic to eliminate Italy and advance Serbia to the Davis Cup final. However, Jannik Sinner rallied Italy from the verge of doom by saving three straight match chances and breaking Novak Djokovic’s 21-match winning run in Davis Cup singles matches to square the quarterfinal match on Saturday at 1-1.

Italy pulled off a thrilling 2-1 comeback victory and advanced to the final for the first time since 1998 thanks to Sinner’s subsequent dominance against world No. 1 Djokovic in doubles. By leading Serbia to its first Davis Cup final in ten years, Djokovic wanted to cap off an incredible season in which he won three more majors to boost his record collection of Gramme Slam victories to 24. Also read: Tennis Umpire Gets 10-Year Ban Following Unethical Betting

“For (me) personally it’s a huge disappointment, because I take the responsibility, obviously having three match balls, being so close to winning it,” Djokovic said. “When you lose for your country, the bitter feeling is even greater.”

After a comeback, Sinner, ranked fourth, defeated Djokovic 6-2, 2-6, 7-5. Sinner and top-ranked Djokovic faced up in a singles contest for the third time in a span of twelve days.

Last week, Sinner defeated Djokovic in the ATP Finals group stage, then Djokovic defeated Sinner in the championship match to secure a record-tying eighth ATP Finals victory. In the doubles, Sinner and Lorenzo Sonego partnered up next. They triumphed 6-3, 6-4 over Djokovic and Kecmanovic. Also read: Novak Djokovic Leads Serbia Into The Davis Cup Semi-Finals Against Britain

“Match of my life? I don’t know, but it’s for sure very important,” Sinner said on his singles win. “It helps a lot that the last competition of the season is a team competition, because you get a lot of energy from your teammates, from the whole team, and then the crowd is different too,” he said. “I really enjoyed playing today. It was a great match. At the end of the match, I was really happy for the team to be at least able to play a deciding doubles.”

Italy will face Australia in Sunday’s final on the same indoor hard court in southern Spain. Sinner’s wins avenged his loss to Djokovic for the ATP Finals title just six days earlier.

In the third set, Djokovic had five break opportunities—including match points—but Sinner denied him each time. Sinner regrouped and broke Djokovic’s subsequent service game to go ahead 6-5 before serving out the match after Djokovic blew his three match points. In doubles, Sinner secured the match-winning point when he backhanded a huge serve from Djokovic into the net. Also read: Davis Cup Winners List And Winning Prize Money

“Congratulations to Italy for qualifying for the final,” said Djokovic, who helped Serbia win its only Davis Cup title in 2010. “They deserved it. They played really well, particularly Jannik, in singles against me and then doubles as well. He barely missed a ball in the entire match.”

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