Novak Djokovic leads Serbia into United Cup quarter-final
Surviving a day of intense drama and chaos in Perth, Novak Djokovic overcame a wrist injury to secure Serbia’s fantasy United Cup quarterfinal matchup against Australia.
Tuesday morning’s practice caused the world No. 1’s right wrist pain, which need extensive care from his physiotherapist.
Wimbledon winner Marketa Vondrousova defeated Olga Danilovic 6-1 3-6 6-3 to give the Czech Republic a 1-0 lead in the tie, therefore Djokovic was cleared to play his singles match against Jiri Lehecka later in the day. But it was probably for the best.
Following an emphatic victory in the opening set and a commanding 3-1 lead in the second, the 24-time grand slam champion appeared to be headed for an easy triumph over Lehecka.
However, as the match went on, Djokovic’s wrist issues became worse, and he began to commit a number of uncharacteristic unforced errors.
After losing the second-set tiebreak, he took a medical break. He returned with a double break in the third set to complete the 6-1 6-7 (7-3) 6-1 victory.
In Perth on Wednesday night, Djokovic is sure that his wrist ailment won’t prevent him from competing in his eagerly awaited matchup against world No. 12 Alex de Minaur.
Since I was still able to win the game, I don’t think it’s a big deal. I was able to play well,” remarked Djokovic.
“I was able to finish the match even though I might not have felt 100%.
“Hopefully, I’ll have enough time to recover for our afternoon match against Australia tomorrow, which will give us more time.”
After Djokovic’s victory on Tuesday in the singles match, there was much uncertainty as to whether Serbia had already accomplished enough to advance to the quarterfinals.
Officials initially declared that Serbia would go to the quarterfinals as the best second-placed team in Perth, even if they lost the mixed doubles and consequently the tie.
It was later clarified by the organisers that Serbia would be eliminated if it lost the mixed doubles in straight sets, therefore that proved to be incorrect.
To give his wrist some rest, Djokovic decided not to play in the mixed doubles, leaving him to anxiously wait to see if his teammates could make it through.
After Miriam Kolodziejova and Petr Nouza defeated Danilovic and Hamad Medjedovic in the opening set, things were dire for Serbia.
However, Serbia’s win in the second set in a tiebreak assured their progress, and Djokovic, who was visibly relieved and happy to be there, watched on from the sidelines.
In a match tiebreak, Serbia prevailed 4-6 7-6 (7-2) 10-8.