World No.2 Novak Djokovic shines as he helps Serbia to win a tough Group A tie 2-1 against France in Brisbane at the ATP Cup 2020 on Monday. With this victory, Serbia also qualifies for the quarterfinals of the inaugural ATP Cup.
World No. 24 Benoit Paire put France on the board after overcoming a stern challenge from Dusan Lajovic. Paire defeated the Serbian in a drama-filled three-setter in front of an energetic Serbian crowd.
All was going well for the Frenchman before the second set tiebreaker when he lost his cool. Paire missed an overhead on the match point at 6-4 in the tiebreaker. Subsequently, he went behind and hugged Nicolas Mahut.
The hot-headed Paire then spat on the court and smashed two racquets after losing the second set tiebreaker 8-6. He also threw two bottles on the court before receiving a calming pep talk from teammates, Gael Monfils and Mahut. However, the 30-year-old recovered well to defeat Dusan Lajovic 6-2 6-7(6) 6-4 in 2 hours and 8 minutes.
Djokovic defeated Gael Monfils 6-3, 6-2 to take the tie to the distance. He returned to Pat Rafter stadium to play the doubles match for the chance to win Group A and qualify for the final eight.
Djokovic denied all seven break points faced in the first set, including two in the opening game. On return, he converted all three break points on Monfils’ serve. With this victory, the Serb extended his head-to-head record with Monfils to 16-0.
In the deciding doubles, Novak Djokovic and Viktor Troicki teamed up against the French pair Edouard Roger-Vasselin and Nicolas Mahut. The Serbs won a comfortable first set 6-3 quite comfortably. However, there was some drama to come in the second set. The 16-time Grand Slam champion called the trainer to treat his right elbow at a non-changeover game at 1-1 in the second set.
Djokovic was highly animated after coming back from the medical timeout.
The 32-year-old’s smash was also denied after France took a video review (VAR) to overturn the foul smash. Video replays showed that Novak’s racquet was over the net and hence the point was awarded to France.
The French team then went onto win the second set in the tiebreaker 7-6(5) and took the tie to the final 10-point tiebreaker to decide the winner.
Nick Kyrgios was also seen cheering for the French team against his rival Novak Djokovic from the stands.
However, Djokovic and Troicki dominated the final set breaker as they won the set 10-3 and won the deciding doubles rubber 6-3, 6-7, 10-3 after 1 hour and 44 minutes.