Novak Djokovic had to face Kevin Anderson in his first official match of 2020. The Serbian is not yet 100%, but he showed the right spirit in the crucial moments bringing the second point to his Serbia in the tie against South Africa.
It was their 11th meeting and the ninth victory for Novak. “I thought it was a fantastic opening match of the season," Djokovic said. “I was really pleasantly surprised and I'm very grateful to all the fans coming out and being patient, staying all the way to the end of the match, especially Serbian guys that really showed the great passion.
I started extremely well. Kevin upped his game and it’s so difficult to read his serve. He was on fire tonight. I think the quality of tennis was quite high, I was very pleased with the way I kind of managed to weather the storm, he was playing very aggressive and not too many unforced errors.
He had a set point, I read his serve, in this kind of matches only a few points decide the winner." On Anderson's return from injury, the 16-time Grand Slam champion added: "I don’t know the condition of his knee and elbow but I told him at the net it’s great to see him playing this way and hopefully he can stay healthy."
“Coming first match back and straight away playing Novak's obviously a little bit tough,” Anderson said. “Definitely got off to a little bit of a nervous start but I am really pleased with the way I was able to turn it around and felt [like I] pretty much went toe-to-toe from midway through the first set through the rest of the match”.