World no. 1 Novak Djokovic secured the 17th consecutive singles Davis Cup victory in Innsbruck, defeating Jan-Lennard Struff 6-2, 6-4 in an hour and 12 minutes to keep Serbia alive versus Germany. Yesterday, Dusan Lajovic secured a win for Serbia against Austria, and Filip Krajinovic could not follow that today, losing to Dominik Koepfer in the opening rubber and leaving Novak with pressure on his back.
Djokovic repelled it in style like a true champion, defeating Struff for the seventh time from as many encounters and introducing the deciding doubles rubber. Novak fired nine aces and lost 14 points behind the initial shot to avoid break points for the second straight day in Innsbruck.
Struff hit only two aces and dropped 45% of the points in his games to experience three breaks from six chances offered to the world's leading player.
Novak Djokovic defeated Jan-Lennard Struff in Innsbruck.
Jan-Lennard made the worst possible start and got broken at love in the opening game when his forehand landed wide.
Djokovic confirmed the advantage with an ace in game two, taking all eight points so far to settle into a fine rhythm. Struff added his name to the scoreboard in game three after a service winner before Djokovic brought the fourth game home with another ace, taking all eight points behind the initial shot so far.
Jan-Lennard defended two break chances in the fifth game to remain within one break deficit, and Novak broke him the next time around to open a 5-2 gap in a quick fashion. Serving for the set in game eight, the Serb took a six-point rally to seize the opener and move closer to the finish line in under half an hour.
Like the opener, Struff experienced a break at the beginning of the second set and found himself 2-0 down after Djokovic's forehand crosscourt winner in game two. Novak forged a 3-1 advantage with an unreturned serve and reached another deuce on the return before Jan-Lennard held for 2-3.
In the sixth game, Djokovic forced the opponent's mistake to maintain the advantage and moved 5-3 up after deuce. Serving to stay in the match, Struff held at 15 in game nine before Djokovic emerged at the top on his serve at 5-4 to keep Serbia in the tie ahead of the doubles rubber.