VALENCIA, Spain – Novak Djokovic made a winning return to action after his US Open triumph, as the world number one helped Serbia book their place in the Davis Cup quarterfinals on Friday with a victory in the group stage against host Spain.
Playing just five days after winning his 24th Grand Slam title in New York, Djokovic overcame hot and humid conditions early on and recovered from a 4-1 deficit in the second set to beat Alejandro Davidovich Fokina 6 -3 6-4 in Valencia.
The result ensured an unassailable 2-0 lead for Serbia after Laslo Djere beat Albert Ramos-Vinolas 6-4 6-4 in the first Group C match and ensured a tie in the last 16 in Malaga, who will take place in November.
“I’m in seventh heaven, as you can see with everything that’s been happening on the tennis court lately,” Djokovic said after his 13th consecutive victory.
“Playing for Serbia, for my country, is something completely different. It’s a huge responsibility and pressure but also an incredible privilege and honor, so I’m really happy to have been able to contribute with a crucial point to qualify for Malaga.
“It’s obviously a shame for the Spanish public, they wanted Spain to win but I think we did very well… and now we will try against the Czech Republic tomorrow to clinch first place in the group and hopefully -le, get a better draw.”
Djokovic said he was fully committed to helping the 2010 Davis Cup champions in their quest for a second title in the premier men’s team competition.
“Everything happened very quickly in a few days and I was on top with the US Open victory and the celebration at home and leaving my family is never easy, but coming to another family – my team Serbian – gives me the greatest joy,” he added.
“At the start of the season, I said that Grand Slams and playing for my country were my priorities. I want to contribute as much as I can. There you go, the objective has been achieved, we are in the round of 16. I hope we can continue in the right direction.
In Manchester, an emotional Andy Murray gave Britain a 1-0 lead over Switzerland by outlasting Leandro Riedi 6-7 (7) 6-4 6-4 and later revealed he had missed his grandmother’s funeral to play in the Group B clash.
Veteran Stan Wawrinka came from behind to equalize by beating Cameron Norrie 7-5 6-4 and returned to play doubles alongside Dominic Stricker, but the Swiss were no match for Dan Evans and Neal Skupski who l won 6-3 6. -3.
In Group A, Italy delighted their home fans in Bologna by taking a 2-0 lead over Chile as Matteo Arnaldi beat Cristian Garin 2-6 6-4 6-3 and Lorenzo Sonego beat Nicolas Jarry 3-6 7-5 6-4.
Finland handed Croatia their second defeat in Group D with Otto Virtanen beating Dino Prizmic 6-4 3-6 6-3 and Emil Ruusuvuori beating Borna Gojo 7-6 (3) 6-4 in Split. The result allowed the Netherlands to qualify for the round of 16.
To subscribe to APPLICANT MORE to access The Philippine Daily Inquirer and over 70 other titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to news, download as early as 4 a.m. and share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.
For comments, complaints or inquiries, Contact us.