ATP Cup 2020: Novak Djokovic leads Team Serbia to title win against Team Spain
There was no stopping the Serbian brigade as they looked determined from the get-go to snatch the victory and lifted the title at the inaugural edition of the ATP Cup. Powered on by World No. 2 Novak Djokovic, Team Serbia put in enough blood and sweat over the past 10 days to finally see the light of victory.
After having suffered a rude exit against Team Russia at Davis Cup during November 2019, there was no room left to make errors. Faced against reigning Davis Cup Champions, Team Spain, the Djokovic-led squad put up a formidable performance to lift the $ 15,000,000 USD prize.
The stage for the finale was set on the hallowed grounds of the Ken Rosewall Arena in Sydney and served as the concluding location for the tournament that was played over three cities for ten days. With the top two players in the world set to lock horns against each other, the excitement was top-notch, especially in the lead-up to the Australian Open.
It was Novak Djokovic's day with a smashing, jaw-dropping performance against long-time rival Rafael Nadal, who led the charge for Team Spain. In what was their 55th meeting on-court, Djokovic called the shots on the hardcourt turf he is overly comfortable at, being a seven-time Australian Open champion himself, leaving Rafa Nadal baffled at some of the points he made.
Although Team Spain had gotten off to winning start, thanks to Roberto Bautista Agut's victory against Serbia's Dusan Lajovic 7-5, 6-1, it was Novak Djokovic who finally put the Serbian side back into the match. In a much-awaited encounter, Djokovic clashed with Nadal and took him heads-on en route to scripting a 6-2, 7-6(4) win and extended his dominance over the Spaniard on hard courts, a surface Nadal has not beaten him on since 2013.
Not only that, but Djokovic also finished the ATP Cup by scoring six singles victories and has also reduced the gap that exists between him and Nadal on the ATP rankings. With the World No. 1 spot beckoning to him, Djokovic will head into the Australian Open with plenty of confidence.
Tied at 1-1 after Djokovic's victory against Nadal, it was the time for the doubles action. While Spain sent the duo of Pablo Carreno Busta and Feliciano Lopez, Team Serbia went all out and Novak Djokovic paired up with veteran Viktor Troicki for the deciding match.
The Serbian duo got off to a lousy start and fell behind in the opening set before the 16-time Grand Slam Champion retained his steely cool nerves to steer Serbia out of the tense spot. Soon enough, it was Serbia who was going for the big points and broke the Spanish side to take the first set.
It was a one-way show towards the second set with Djokovic and Troicki really stepping up and putting their best foot forward for the country's sake. The Serbian duo got their way and raced towards victory in 6-3, 6-4 and emerged on top to lift the ATP Cup title.
What is more exciting is that with the Australian Open around the corner, the ATP Cup has acted as the perfect warm-up event to put the top players in the circuit ready for the impending drama in the coming weeks.
With Nadal and Djokovic displaying such ferocious forms, it is easy to predict how intense the action will be in Melbourne from 20th January. As the ATP Cup draws to an end, it leaves us excited for a whole new year and season of quality and firebrand tennis ahead, setting the mood perfectly for it, in its first-ever edition.