Australia, Russia, Great Britain and Serbia have secured the place in the quarter-final of the inaugural ATP Cup, with four other spots left up for grabs on Wednesday. Serbia is yet to suffer a defeat at the ATP Cup, ousting South Africa, France and Chile in Brisbane to punch their Sydney ticket, facing the second-best second-ranked squad in the battle for the semis.
Against Chile, both Dusan Lajovic and Novak Djokovic scored singles wins to propel the favorites over the top, hoping to keep this form in the second stage of the tournament as well. In the first match, Lajovic ousted Nicolas Jarry 6-2, 7-6 to push Serbia in front and deliver the 12th straight loss to the Chilean after he won the title in Bastad back in July!
Dusan faced only two break points, suffering one break of serve and scoring three on the other hand to go through in straight sets. He claimed those three breaks in the opener for a commanding 6-2 before Nicolas started to play much better in set number two, saving a match point in the 12th game to reach a tie break that Lajovic won 7-3 to grab the second victory of the year.
Keeping a perfect record so far at the ATP Cup, world no. 2 Novak Djokovic defeated Cristian Garin 6-3, 6-3 in 72 minutes, earning the overall victory for Serbia before a trip to Sydney for the latter stage of the tournament.
It was their first meeting on the Tour and the Serb grabbed a win with five straight games in set number two, suffering one break and converting all four chances on the return to seal the deal in no time at all. Settling into a comfort zone in his games right from the beginning, Novak controlled the pace and waited for a chance on the return, earning a break in the fourth game and closing the set with a service winner in game nine for a 6-3.
Garin moved in front with a break in game four in set number two when Novak sent a backhand long, only to lose serve in the next game after a loose forehand. Djokovic held at love in game six and broke Cristian for a 4-3 lead after another forehand error from the Chilean, taking full control and moving over the top with the third straight break in game nine, adding more points to his tally in the no. 1 battle with Rafael Nadal.