ATP Cup 2020: Serbia dominate Canada to enter semi-finals
What's the story?
Serbia produced an all-round and dominant display in their quarter-final tie against Canada today as they advanced to the semi-finals of the ATP Cup 2020, where they will meet Russia.
In one of the tougher draws of the tournament, many were expecting a close affair, however, it was anything but close as Serbia won all three matches they played against Canada.
In case you didn't know
Novak Djokovic guided Serbia to their first-ever major trophy in 2010 when they won the Davis Cup, defeating France in a memorable affair in front of the former's home fans in Belgrade.
The heart of the matter
The highly anticipated tie began with a conventional straight sets win for Serbia's Lajovic over Canada's Auger-Aliassime. The match was defined by the Canadian's shaky service games which saw the youngster hit five double faults throughout the match. This did not go unpunished by Lajovic, who won the tie 6-4, 6-2.
With Serbia leading 1-0, it was time for Novak Djokovic and Denis Shapovalov to face-off in the most anticipated match of the tie. Interestingly, this match was a lot closer and was taken to three sets before Djokovic ultimately won.
Both players were comfortable on serve in the first set and it looked destined for a tie break as the scores sat at 4-4. Up until this stage, neither player had faced a single breakpoint, nevertheless, Shapovalov stepped up his game and broke the Serb's serve and closed the set 6-4.
Djokovic responded, however, and took the second set 6-1 to force a deciding third set. This was by far the most intense moment in the tie and it showed. Djokovic finally broke Shapovalov at 5-4, only to have his own serve immediately broken in the following game.
While it looked as though the momentum had switched to Shapovalov, nevertheless, Djokovic rallied in the tiebreak to win the match 4-6 6-1 7-6(4) and ultimately the tie itself. Additionally, Serbia won the doubles match as well, to beat Canada 3-0 in a conclusive victory.
Serbia face a stiffer challenge in the semi-finals, where they face the in-form Russians who have gone almost unnoticed throughout the tournament, despite having played some of the best tennis in the tournament.Published 10 Jan 2020, 17:08 IST