Davis Cup: Novak Djokovic helps Serbia win in first action since U.S. Open

League: Tennis

Posted on: 15 Sep, 2023 at 11:33 PM

Credit: Danielle Parhizkaran-USA TODAY Sports

Novak Djokovic blew past Alejandro Davidovich Fokina to ensure Serbia would reach the Davis Cup Final 8 during group stage action on Friday in Valencia, Spain.

Serbia defeated Spain 3-0 to match the Czech Republic atop Group C at 2-0. Serbia and the Czech Republic will face off Saturday to decide first place, but both are now certain to advance to the knockouts.

Also Friday, Italy swept Chile 3-0 in Group A in Bologna, Italy; Great Britain beat Switzerland 2-1 in Group B in Manchester, England; and Finland bested Croatia 2-1 in Group D in Split, Croatia.

The Davis Cup group stages are taking place Tuesday through Sunday in four cities across Europe. The top two teams in each round-robin group will advance to the knockout stage in Malaga, Spain, Nov. 21-26.

On Friday, Serbia's Laslo Djere beat Albert Ramos-Vinolas 6-4, 6-4 to set up Djokovic to earn the clinching point. In his first match since winning the U.S. Open last Sunday, Djokovic had a 10-4 edge in aces and capitalized on Davidovich Fokina's 33 unforced errors to lock up the win.

Serbia took all three points when Nikola Cacic and Miomir Kecmanovic beat Davidovich Fokina and Marcel Granollers in doubles, 6-4, 7-6 (13).

In all three matches, Italy rallied from a set down to beat Chile. Matteo Arnaldi came from behind to beat Cristian Garin 2-6, 6-4, 6-3. Lorenzo Sonego did the same to Nicolas Jarry 3-6, 7-5, 6-4, and the doubles team of Sonego and Lorenzo Musetti eked past Marcelo Tomas Barrios Vera and Alejandro Tabilo 6-7 (3), 6-3, 7-6 (2).

Andy Murray rallied past Leandro Riedi 6-7 (9), 6-4, 6-4 for Great Britain, but Stan Wawrinka tied the score for Switzerland with a 7-5, 6-4 win over Cameron Norrie. The British doubles team of Daniel Evans and Neal Skupski eased past Wawrinka and Dominic Stricker 6-3, 6-3 to earn the point and move into the lead in Group B.

Finland locked up its win over Croatia during singles, as Otto Virtanen beat Dino Prizmic 6-4, 3-6, 6-3 and Emil Ruusuvuori topped Borna Gojo 7-6 (3), 6-4. Croatia got a point back during doubles, with Ivan Dodig and Mate Pavic taking down Harri Heliovaara and Patrik Niklas-Salminen 6-4, 7-6 (1).

Group stage action continues Saturday with four matchups:
--Canada vs. Chile (Group A)
--Australia vs. Switzerland (Group B)
--Serbia vs. Czech Republic (Group C)
--United States vs. Finland (Group D)

Group stage standings (overall record, individual match record):
Group A
1. Canada, 2-0, 6-0
T2. Chile, 1-1, 3-3
T2. Italy, 1-1, 3-3
4. Sweden, 0-2, 0-6

Group B
1. Great Britain, 2-0, 4-2
2. France, 1-1, 4-2
3. Australia, 1-1, 3-3
4. Switzerland, 0-2, 1-5

Group C
T1. Serbia, 2-0, 6-0
T1. Czech Republic, 2-0, 6-0
T3. Spain, 0-2, 0-6
T3. South Korea, 0-2, 0-6

Group D
1. Netherlands, 2-0, 4-2
T2. Finland, 1-1, 3-3
T2. United States, 1-1, 3-3
4. Croatia, 0-2, 2-4

--Field Level Media