If Novak Djokovic was looking to gain some positive energy from Davis Cup to get his season back on track then Serbia’s triumphant weekend in Belgrade over Spain has probably done the trick.
The world No2 led Serbia to their first Davis Cup semi-final since 2013 and has already said he’ll to his best to make himself available for that last-four tie against France in September.
Serbia completed a 4-1 victory over a Spanish squad led by world No19 Pablo Carreno Busta, who was his nation’s No1 player in just his third ever appearance in the competition.
The Serbs will next fly to France for a rematch of their 2010 final, where Djokovic helped Serbia claim their first Davis Cup crown.
“France have had so much success in the Davis Cup down the years,” Djokovic, who is on a 12-match winning streak in singles rubbers in the competition, told www.daviscup.com.
“All their players develop through the Davis Cup as a very important competition for their system, which in turn generates support from the French Tennis Federation. The French are very hungry after coming up short recently and will undoubtedly have their defeat to us in the 2010 final on their minds.
“They are likely to pick red clay at Roland Garros or Monte Carlo for the clash and I will do my best to make myself available for the semis because we all value playing for our country. We will be out to do battle against one of the best Davis Cup nations. I am now relishing the clay court season as I felt really well throughout this Davis Cup week.”
The French booked their place in the semis with a 4-1 rout of an Andy Murray-less Great Britain. Lucas Pouille got the home side on the board in Rouen before Nicolas Mahut and Julien Benneteau secured an unassailable 3-0 lead by clinching the doubles tie.
The other semi-final pits Australia against Belgium after they claimed wins over USA And Italy respectively.
Here’s a look at the highlights from Davis Cup weekend:
Making just his second ever appearance for Australia in Davis Cup, the 22-year-old world No79 clinched the first point for the hosts in Brisbane by upsetting world No15 Jack Sock, who has been on fire so far in 2017, picking up two titles and standing just behind Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal in leading number of match wins this season. Nick Kyrgios may have secured the knockout punch for the Aussies against USA but Thompson certainly made things easier for him with that crucial opening point.
Moez Echargui over Marcos Baghdatis
You’d have to go down in the Davis Cup hierarchy to the Europe/Africa zonal Group II relegation play-offs for this one. Tunisia claimed an impressive 4-1 win over Cyprus away in Nicosia but it wasn’t their No1 Malek Jaziri who stole the show but the unheralded world No799 Moez Echargui. The 24-year-old La Marsa-native upset former top-10er and current world No56 Marcos Baghdatis (who just last year was a runner-up at the ATP 500 Dubai tournament) 7-5, 7-6 (2), 4-6, 4-6, 6-1 in the second rubber of the tie to give the Tunisians a 2-0 lead. This was just Echargui’s second Davis Cup tie.
Carreno Busta’s tweener
He may have lost his match against Viktor Troicki but Pablo Carreno Busta’s tweener lob winner against the Serb will at least serve as a special memento to take away from the tie. Even the Serbian home crowd applauded this beauty.
Mahut goes the extra mile
Leave it tennis’ own marathon man, Nicolas Mahut, to go above and beyond just to hit back one shot. In his doubles win with Julien Benneteau against Jamie Murray and Dom Inglot, Mahut fired this ball back FROM THE STANDS.
I’m skipping all the players who actually contested matches this past weekend and will go straight to France captain Yannick Noah, who delivered this performance at the official dinner.