United Cup: Novak Djokovic and Olga Danilovic edge China

Novak Djokovic and Olga Danilovic led Serbia toward a tight victory over China

by Jovica Ilic
United Cup: Novak Djokovic and Olga Danilovic edge China
© Paul Kane / Stringer - Getty Images Sport

Serbia and China met at the United Cup in Perth. Novak Djokovic and Olga Danilovic battled against Zhizhen Zhang and Qinwen Zheng and scored a 2-1 victory, making a winning start during their United Cup debut. Novak took down Zhizhen in the opening singles duel before Qinwen toppled Olga, leveling the score at 1-1.

Djokovic and Danilovic prevailed in the mixed doubles clash, securing an overall victory and celebrating the new year on the court. Novak kicked off the season with a convincing 6-3, 6-2 win in an hour and 12 minutes. World no.

1 lost ten points behind the initial shot, never facing a break point. Zhizhen could not follow that pace, getting broken three times and collecting only five games. The Chinese saved a break point in game four with a service winner before struggling again at 2-3.

The Serb broke at love after the rival's forehand error, moving 4-2 in front and holding at 30 a few minutes later. Novak served for the set at 5-3 and held with a service winner for 6-3 in 34 minutes, hoping for more in set number two.

Serbia defeaed China 2-1 at the United Cup in Perth.

Zhang missed a game point at the beginning of the second set, and Djokovic broke for an early lead. The Chinese missed a forehand in the third game, losing serve again and falling 3-0 behind.

Djokovic held at love a few minutes later and produced another comfortable service game for 5-1. Zhang served to stay in the match in the seventh game, defending a match point and reducing the deficit to 5-2. Novak served for the victory in game eight and sealed the deal, pushing Serbia in front.

Zheng played well and ousted Danilovic 6-4, 6-2, keeping China in contention. World no. 15 played better behind the first and second serve, keeping the pressure on her opponent.

Novak Djokovic, United Cup 2023© Paul Kane / Stringer - Getty Images Sport

Qinwen defended two out of three break points and delivered four breaks from six opportunities, enough to emerge at the top.

The opening set lasted an hour, and Zheng grabbed with consecutive breaks. Danilovic clinched an early break before Zheng responded with a double break, moving 4-2 in front. The Chinese served for the set in game ten and defended two set points for 6-4 and a boost.

Qinwen served well in the second set and broke Olga's resistance. The Chinese secured back-to-back breaks for a 4-0 lead and sealed the deal to force a deciding mixed doubles duel. Djokovic and Danilovic bounced back and scored a 6-4, 1-6, 10-6 victory, securing the overall triumph for Serbia.

Zhang and Zheng took charge in the second set and gathered a boost before the Serbs controlled the match tie break to emerge at the top.

Novak Djokovic Olga Danilovic