Novak Djokovic loses the plot in ugly meltdown at ATP Cup

Sam Goodwin
Sports Editor

Novak Djokovic let his frustrations get the better of him at the ATP Cup on Saturday, destroying a racquet in a furious meltdown.

In action against Daniil Medvedev in the second rubber of Serbia’s semi-final clash with Russia on Saturday, Djokovic was in scintillating form early.

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The World No.2 blitzed his young opponent 6-1 in the first set, but it was a completely different story in the second.

Novak Djokovic cut a frustrated figure early in the second set. Image: Getty

Djokovic went off the boil to begin the second set and was incensed when he let Medvedev surge to a 4-1 lead.

After dropping a point in the fifth game of the set, Djokovic unleashed with a furious outburst, smashing his racquet three times on the court and completely destroying the frame.

He was hit with a code violation for his troubles, the second of the day after Karen Khachanov had a similar outburst in the opening singles rubber.

However American great Jim Courier believed it was simply Djokovic’s way of getting his frustrations out of the way and moving on.

“He plays at his best when he plays on the edge of anger,” Courier said in commentary for Channel Nine.

“There's a difference between being on the edge of anger and being angry - anger clouds your judgement.”

It appeared to work for Djokovic as he managed to get things back on serve at 4-4 not long after.

He dropped the second set but managed to see off Medvedev in an incredible encounter, sending Serbia into the final with a 6-1, 5-7, 6-4 victory.

Lajovic’s shock win gives Serbia lead

Serbia earlier drew first blood when Dusan Lajovic upset world No.17 Khachanov.

Lajovic backed up his straight-sets win over Canadian young gun Felix Auger-Aliassime on Friday with an even more impressive 7-5 7-6 (7-1) victory over a player ranked 17 spots spots above him.

The win left Medvedev needing to upstage seven-times Australian Open champion Djokovic to keep Russia in the best-of-three tie.

Australia play Spain on Saturday night in the second semi-final of the inaugural $22 million season-opening teams' event.

with AAP