Serbia relies on Novak Djokovic to treaxch the Davis Cup 2021 semifinals. And as in the vast majority of cases, he is not wrong. After Dusan Lajovic and Filip Krajinovic, it is up to Miomir Kecmanovic to fill the role of number two.
Here: the 99 class loses a completely crazy match against Mikhail Kukushkin, basically short of victories in the major circuit (apart from the Olympics) since March. Needless to say, the Serbian does not take advantage of a handful of chances for the double break in the deciding set, squanders a very comfortable situation of 5-3 40-15 and wastes a total of two more match points in the jeu decisif.
At the threshold of three hours and twenty minutes of play the Kazakh closes at 7-6 (4) 4-6 7-6 (11) and gives the point of the momentary 1-0 to the team. Djokovic does not allow himself to be influenced by the situation or even by the circumstances.
The challenge with Alexandr Bublik turns out to be a very good competitive training in view of the decisive double. The number one in the world - who dominates the confrontation from the baseline and who manages in an overall easy way even the service shifts - breaks the balance already in the fourth game and replies with the same modalities and in the same scoring situation during the second.
The 6-3 6-4 is practically a logical consequence. Backing up Djokovic in the decisive double is once again the specialist Nikola Cacic. On the other side of the net, it is Alexsandr Nedovyesov who keeps company with the eternal Andrey Golubev.
The 6-2 Serbia is the background to the 6-2 Kazakhstan, with Nedovyesov who misses something near the net in the heart of the third set and actually gives the decisive advantage to Serbia. Cacic finds quality and continuity with the available joke and gives Djokovic a minimum of tranquility.
He finishes 6-2 2-6 6-3. After four years Serbia finds its place among the top four in Davis: Croatia of Marin Cilic and above all of the double made up of Maktic and Pavic await them. For now always employed and for now always winning: last victims Fabio Fognini and Jannik Sinner.
Rusedski: "Non more chances for Federer and Nadal on hard-courts"
Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal had to watch the exploits of Novak Djokovic almost helplessly in 2021. By winning three out of four Grand Slams, the world number 1 cleared the gap that separated him from eternal rivals in the all-time Grand Slam standings.
The Serbian also had a great chance to overtake at the US Open, but was defeated by Daniil Medvedev in the final act. Roger played the misery of 13 official matches this year, limited by a knee that doesn't want to leave him alone.
The 40-year-old from Basel ended his season after Wimbledon and has undergone his third surgery in the past 18 months. It didn't go much better for Nadal, who played seven official tournaments in 2021. Despite having managed to put a couple of trophies on his beloved clay court, the Spaniard failed the assault on his 14th Roland Garros.
The 35-year-old from Manacor will make his return to the Abu Dhabi exhibition in December, before flying to Melbourne for the 2022 Australian Open. Interviewed by the Express Sport portal, former ATP number 4 Greg Rusedski analyzed the moment Roger and Rafa are experiencing.
He saisd: "As for Roger Federer, I think he's focused on Wimbledon. He knows very well that he has no chance at Roland Garros, at the US Open or in Australia. In 2019 he came close to the title in London, but failed to take advantage of a couple of match points against Novak Djokovic.
This year he didn't play particularly well in the Championships, but he still made it to the quarter-finals. If he gets back in good shape, he could still have a say about him on the grass. I think this is his great goal.
Rafael Nadal's energies are instead focused on Roland Garros. It is in Paris that he has the best chance of winning his 21st Grand Slam. Right now, Djokovic is out of reach for both Roger and Rafa on hardcourt. We must not forget Daniil Medvedev, Alexander Zverev and Stefanos Tsitsipas, who got very close to Nole."