After 11 consecutive victories, world no. 1 Novak Djokovic suffered the first ATP Cup loss against Germany in the deciding clash of their group, missing a chance to compete in the semis. Germany beat Serbia 2-1 thanks to Jan-Lennard Struff, who ousted Dusan Lajovic, and Alexander Zverev, who helped him in the doubles clash to dethrone the Serbs and advance into the last four.
Jan-Lennard Struff defeated Dusan Lajovic 3-6, 6-3, 6-4 in two hours and one minute in the first match. The German defended six out of eight break chances and scored three breaks that carried him home, overcoming a slower start to cross the finish line first.
Lajovic grabbed a break in the opener's sixth game and saved a break point in the next couple of service games to take the set 6-3. Struff had to dig deep in the second set's games three and seven to keep his serve intact, rattling off the last ten points to take the set 6-4 and gain a boost ahead of the decider.
Alexander Zverev and Jan-Lennard Struff defeated Novak Djokovic and Nikola Cacic.
After six good holds in the final set, they traded three breaks, and the German scored two in games seven and nine. Serving for the victory at 5-4, Jan-Lennard erased two break chances with winners and sealed the deal with an ace to push Germany in front.
In the most anticipated clash of the day, Novak Djokovic toppled Alexander Zverev 6-7, 6-2, 7-5 in two hours and 33 minutes to deliver the fifth triumph over Alexander in seven encounters and level the overall score at 1-1.
Djokovic had 29 winners and 27 unforced errors, losing serve once and keeping the pressure on his opponent after creating six break chances. Alexander got broken four times, recovering his game in the decider but losing ground in the decisive moments to propel Novak through just before the tie break.
Djokovic stood stronger in the closing stages, breaking Zverev at 5-5 following a double fault from the German and sealing the deal a few minutes later to introduce the doubles rubber. Jan-Lennard Struff and Alexander Zverev (probably the worst player on the court) took down Novak Djokovic and Nikola Cacic 7-6, 5-7, 10-7 to secure the victory and advance into the semis.
Zverev got broken at the end of the second set before he and Struff bounced back in the match tie break to bring the win home and set the Russia clash on Saturday.