SYDNEY, January 12, 2020
Serbia is the champion of the inaugural ATP Cup following a 2-1 victory over Spain on Sunday evening in Sydney.
The final of the new 24-team competition went down to a deciding-doubles match after Roberto Bautista Agut beat Dusan Lajovic 7-5 6-1, and Novak Djokovic prevailed over Rafael Nadal 6-2, 7-6 (4) in the second singles rubber to level proceedings between the teams.
Your inaugural #ATPCup champions, 🇷🇸 #TeamSerbia!@DjokerNole/@troicki_viktor clinch the 🏆 over Carreno Busta/Lopez 6-3 6-4 winning the tie 2-1.#SRBESP | #ForTheLoveOfCountry pic.twitter.com/lLCLG86bm4
— ATPCup (@ATPCup) January 12, 2020
Later, Djokovic was back on court alongside Viktor Troicki to defeat Pablo Carreno Busta and Feliciano Lopez in the last match of the tournament 6-3, 6-4. Spain, who won the Davis Cup Madrid Finals in November last year, decided not to field Nadal.
“I have played a lot of tennis in the last couple of days,” Nadal said of the decision not play him in the doubles.
“My team-mates played great yesterday and my energy levels are a little bit lower than usual. It is a team decision and we believe in our team, that’s why we have had success in the past.”
Late-night finish in Sydney
Serbia celebrated the win a little after 1 a.m. local time in front of an enthusiastic crowd inside Ken Rosewall Arena.
— ATP Tour (@atptour) January 12, 2020
“I’ll remember this experience for the rest of my life as one of the nicest moments of my career, for sure. I’ve been very fortunate to have had an amazing career but playing for the team and the country can’t be matched. It’s too special,” said Djokovic, who remained undefeated over the last 15 days in Australia headlined by his ninth consecutive match win on hard courts against Nadal.
“Every time I get to play Rafa, we get to play a lot of exciting points,” the World No. 2 said after the 55th meeting between the two superstars. “There were some incredible exchanges today. I started the match perfectly, everything worked for me and my serve got me out of trouble in the second set. I’m really glad to have held my nerve in the end.”