After Dusan Lajovic played ‘the best match of his career’ to defeat Karen Khachanov, Novak Djokovic pulled off a victory against Daniil Medvedev by defeating him 6-1, 5-7, 6-4. The Serbs gave a 2-0 lead to their team and sailed into the finals of ATP Cup 2020.
Djokovic’s match had a one-sided start but ended up in a dramatic manner. Last year Djokovic lost to Medvedev two times in a row and finally, in Sydney, he avenged his previous losses.
The opening set began with some breathtaking action from both the players. The battle between Djokovic and Medvedev seemed more like a chess match than a tennis match. At the changeover at 2-1, the Russian called the doctor on the court and probably gulp down the tablet of paracetamol.
Novak Djokovic overcame the aces and dexterous shot-making from Daniil Medvedev and needed a few break points to break his serve for a 3-1.
Medvedev committed a foot fault and later challenged the call, but no video review was available for that challenge. Consequently, the Russian had to sacrifice his first serve.
The Serb continued with his masterclass tennis and sprinted to take a 5-1 lead by breaking the Russian once again. Medvedev once said, “Djokovic plays like a machine,” and in Sydney, he once again experienced it as Novak’s patient and creative returns left him stranded in the labyrinth of tennis. Novak sealed the set 6-1 under 31 minutes. The Serb just committed 4 unforced errors in the set and it was one-way traffic.
Djokovic boarded the set by breaking Medvedev’s serve again. However, the next game on Novak’s serve was an extended one with seven deuces. The Serb could save three break points with some nuances in his strategy to drop the ball on the court. However, the Russian machine converted the fourth break point of the game with a forehand passing shot and was back on serve.
Medvedev gained momentum and broke Djokovic’s serve for a 3-1 lead in the second set and got rid off his sluggishness from the first set. He switched on his beast mode and exhausted the best returners of the sport, Novak Djokovic.
After losing his serve, Novak exploded on the court out of anger. He smashed his racquet multiple times on the court and destroyed it. Later swept its remnants from the court with a towel. The court was also destroyed a bit. Novak Djokovic was given a code violation for racquet abuse.
Their long rallies in the match prevailed. Novak was just focusing to curtail his errors and he broke him back at 4-3 with some variations in his backhand.
Both the machine-like professionals were clinging on to their serves and played elongated rallies on several points. Medvedev hit second serve aces which raised the brows of Djokovic.
At 6-5 Djokovic double-faulted at 30-30, and Medvedev earned a set point. With a jaw-dropping passing shot on the next point, the Russian sealed the second set 7-5.
Both Medvedev and Djokovic held their serves at 1-1. In the subsequent game, the Russian made a quick hold to love with two aces and winners at 2-1. The relentless hitting from Medvedev forced Djokovic to protect his service game at 2-2.
High-quality tennis was produced by both the machines as they were persistently slamming the tennis ball. After multiple deuces, Djokovic came across the second break point, with a phenomenal play on the net Djokovic led by a break at 3-2.
Their incessant tennis prevailed until the end of the battle and Medvedev was not willing to give up at any instant of time.