In the second tie of the Group A at the Davis Cup Finals in Madrid, Serbia defeated Japan for a winning start. Champions from 2010 grabbed two convincing singles triumphs thanks to Filip Krajinovic and Novak Djokovic who is ready to chase the second Davis Cup trophy after losing the year-end no.
1 battle with Rafael Nadal in London. Filip Krajinovic scored the seventh Davis Cup victory with a 6-2, 6-4 win over Yuichi Sugita in 70 minutes that pushed Serbia in front. The Serb never faced a break point in the entire match, controlling the pace in the rallies and mounting the pressure on Sugita who couldn't endure it, suffering three breaks from nine chances offered to the Serb and finishing on the losing side.
Filip broke at love in the third game following a loose forehand from the Japanese, extending the lead to 4-1 thanks to another poor forehand from his rival. The Serb closed the set with a solid serve&volley combo in the eighth game, gathering momentum and earning another break in the third game of the second set that moved him closer to the finish line.
Sugita managed to defend his serve in the next two games after fending off all four break chances, unable to do much on the return and allowing Krajinovic to seal the deal with another powerful hold at 5-4. Competing in the Davis Cup for the first time since April 2017, world no.
2 Novak Djokovic toppled Yoshihito Nishioka 6-1 6-2 in 70 minutes to deliver the second point for Serbia and an overall victory. Novak suffered only one break in the early stages of the encounter and kept the pressure on the other side of the net to tame the rival's serve and seize five breaks from 13 chances.
The first break came in the second game when Nishioka sprayed a forehand error, pulling it back in the very next game after a massive forehand mistake from Djokovic as well. Novak regained the advantage with a forehand crosscourt winner in game three after converting the fifth chance, securing another return game at 4-1 and clinching the opener with a hold a few minutes later.
A left-hander placed a backhand wide in the third game of the second set to hand Novak another break before the Serb grabbed another one after a lucky net cord at 4-2, sealing the deal with a service winner in game eight to join France at the top of the Group A standings.