Tennis-Djokovic levels Davis Cup quarter-final for Serbia against Kazakhstan

Novak Djokovic sent Serbia's Davis Cup quarter-final against Kazakhstan into a deciding doubles rubber when the world number one clinically dispatched Alexander Bublik on Wednesday. The pressure was on Djokovic after Kazakhstan veteran Mikhail Kukushkin beat Miomir Kecmanovic in an epic first singles lasting more than three hours.


Reuters | Updated: 02-12-2021 01:57 IST | Created: 02-12-2021 01:57 IST
Tennis-Djokovic levels Davis Cup quarter-final for Serbia against Kazakhstan

Novak Djokovic sent Serbia's Davis Cup quarter-final against Kazakhstan into a deciding doubles rubber when the world number one clinically dispatched Alexander Bublik on Wednesday.

The pressure was on Djokovic after Kazakhstan veteran Mikhail Kukushkin beat Miomir Kecmanovic in an epic first singles lasting more than three hours. But he was never threatened in a 6-3 6-4 win -- his 17th successive victory in a Davis Cup singles rubber.

"The job is not done but hopefully we can get a win in the doubles," Djokovic said on court. Djokovic was scheduled to be back on court alongside Nikola Cacic against Kazakh pair Andrey Golubev and Aleksandr Nedovyesov, barring last-minute team changes.

Earlier the 33-year-old Kukushkin came back from 2-5 down in the deciding set and saved four match points before converting his fifth match point to win 7-6(5) 4-6 7-6(11). Kecmanovic, thrown in for his Davis Cup debut, did little wrong but just could not put away his opponent in a match that veered one way and the other for three hours 18 minutes.

Serbia captain Viktor Troicki elected to go with world number 69 Kecmanovic ahead of more experienced options and it looked to have paid off as the 22-year-old rose to the task. Kukushkin, now ranked 182 but once inside the top 40, began slowly as he dropped his opening service game, but his experience showed as he took the first set on a tiebreaker and led 4-2 with a break in the second set.

Kecmanovic found another level, however, and won seven games in a row to snatch the second set and move 3-0 ahead in the decider before Kukushkin dug in. Kukushkin saved five break points to avoid falling 4-0 down and, throwing caution to the wind, he saved three match points as Kecmanovic served at 5-3.

Kecmanovic was the first to reach match point in a nerve-shredding tiebreaker but blazed a forehand long at 6-5. The Serbian showed great resilience to stave off four match points but Kukushkin finally got the job done when he took the breaker 13-11.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

Give Feedback