Nadal's Spain face Djokovic's Serbia in ATP Cup decider

Tanya Simon
January 12, 2020

Roberto Bautista Agut had earlier beaten Nick Kyrgios 6-1, 6-4 to give Spain the lead, and Nadal's win secured Spain's victory before the doubles, where Pablo Carreno Busta and Feliciano Lopez won to give Spain a 3-0 sweep.

World number two Novak Djokovic had a strong first half of 2019 winning the Australian Open and Wimbledon, but the United States hard court season through year end did not meet the Serbian's lofty standards.

"Yeah, has been a tough couple of days, especially for Team Spain. with jet lag to make things even a little bit more hard", Nadal said.

"I have been playing a lot of tennis [in] the last couple of days", Nadal announced in his press conference after losing to Novak Djokovic in the singles.

Medvedev had won their previous two matches at ATP Masters events in Monte Carlo and Cincinnati past year and was 2-3 in career head-to-heads, each time in three sets, and wasn't about to give up a spot in the final without a fight.

"It was tough at the beginning of the match as Alex was playing at a very high level and my energy was a little lower than usual".

Djokovic had to pull out with an injury in his fourth round encounter at the US Open against Stanislas Wawrinka and lost to Stefanos Tsitsipas in the quarter-finals of the ATP Masters 1000 in Shanghai.

With the crowd making themselves heard at every opportunity, the second set went to an enthralling tie-break.

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The introduction of the ATP Cup to the southern hemisphere calendar has created the most gruelling and entertaining start to the Australian tennis season in memory, as the world's best male players chase prize money, ranking points and a team trophy rather than play in grand slam warm-up events. "Serve got me out of trouble in the second set".

Despite showing signs of fatigue, Djokovic lifted his game in the third set against Medvedev to ensure he has one more singles match in Sydney.

Yet Nadal eventually found his, and after breaking serve for the first time in the match in the 12th game of the second set to take it, he resembled a runaway train in the deciding set.

"It was an exceptional match".

"We get to play a lot of exciting points".

Nadal and Djokovic were both expected back on the court to play the decisive doubles rubber that will decide which country wins the 24-nation tournament. "I started off the match, perfectly, really".

"Definitely one of the most exciting matches I've played against him or any of the top players in the last few years".

The Davis Cup Finals champions Spain has moved a victory away from the inaugural ATP Cup trophy, with Roberto Bautista Agut beating Dusan Lajovic 7-5, 6-1 in an hour and 37 minutes.

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