After the numerous untapped opportunities by Miomir Kecmanovic in the first singles match against Mikhail Kukushkin, Novak Djokovic took care of dragging Serbia to the Davis Cup semifinals. The 20-time Grand Slam champion first defeated Alexander Bublik in two sets and then scored the decisive point in doubles with Nikola Cacic.
Serbia will face Marin Cilic's Croatia in the semifinals and will have to be very careful in the two singles matches, because in the decisive double they would find the best couple in the world: the one formed by Nikola Mektic and Mate Pavic.
“My priorities are the Grand Slam tournaments and playing for my country, because I am motivated here, and as long as I am healthy I will be available for the captain. Particularly for Davis which is the historic team competition.
It means a lot to me but it means a lot to all of us. We are a relatively young team, apart from myself. The changes have recently taken place and now we are trying to find the group that will guide us in the coming years”, explained Djokovic at the press conference and in the words gathered by SuperTennis.
“When a decisive double comes in the third set, it's all difficult and all possible. As for me, I did what I hoped to do: an immediate break with Bublik, which is never easy to get as needed. And another good start in double.
We haven't played often with Cacic, but we know that double here is super important because it is often decisive. Golubev and Nedovyesov play together more often than us, but after losing the second we found new energy in the third."
Carlos Alcaraz praises Djokovic
18-year-old Carlos Alcaraz has been one of the most improved players of the 2021 season and the Spaniard has sparked comparisons to his vand compatriot Rafael Nadal. "I met Rafael Nadal for the first time at an award ceremony on the Rafa Nadal Tour (junior tennis circuit)," Alcaraz said.
"At that time I hardly dared to exchange a word with him. However, during our first real conversation I noticed what a great guy he is." The Spaniard has said that his interactions with the trio showed him that they are not only top athletes, but great people as well.
"When it comes to comparisons with the Big Three, I want to say the following: Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic are not only exceptional athletes, some of the best in history, they are also great people," he said.
"When Djokovic ennobled me for what I had achieved, I was speechless. I sent him a message afterwards and thanked him for the warm words," Alcaraz said.