Novak Djokovic sensationally loses it during dramatic upset

Andrew Reid
·4-min read
Novak Djokovic can be seen smashing a racquet here in Serbia's ATP Cup tie against Germany.
Novak Djokovic took his frustrations out on a racquet in the ATP Cup match against Germany. Pic: Ch9/Getty

Novak Djokovic's flawless ATP Cup record came to a dramatic end on Friday as reigning champions Serbia were dumped out of the team tournament at Melbourne Park.

On a tense day in which the World No.1 let his frustrations get the better of him at times, Djokovic's Serbia were left stunned after Germany eliminated the ATP Cup holders from the tournament.

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Djokovic was unbeaten in the event after guiding his side to a thrilling triumph in 2020 and the Serb kept his country's hopes alive on Friday afternoon after a thrilling three-set win over German star Alexander Zverev.

The world No.1 dug deep to level the tie at 1-1 with a 6-7 (3-7) 6-2 7-5 victory over the seventh-ranked Zverev.

Jan-Lennard Struff had put Germany 1-0 up in the decisive Group A tie with a 3-6 6-3 6-4 comeback win over Dusan Lajovic in the opening singles rubber.

Struff's victory put the heat on Djokovic but the 17-time major winner responded to improve his flawless record in the teams' event to 11-0, including nine singles victories.

It all came down to the deciding doubles rubber with both Djokovic and Zverev backing up from their gripping singles match to lead their respective countries.

Pictured here, German doubles partners Zverev and Struff in the ATP Cup.
Zverev and Struff got Germany off to a great start in the deciding doubles rubber against Serbia. Pic: Getty

Djokovic teamed up with Nikola Cacic for the winner-takes-all match but the Serbians found themselves a set down after losing the first set in a tiebreaker 7-6 (7-4) against Zverev and Struff.

The Serbs began to find their rhythm in the second set but Djokovic was furious at one point after they let a number of break point chances go begging while 0-40 up on the Struff serve.

The World No.1's frustrations boiled over as let out his anger at the side of the court, smashing his racquet violently into the team's bench.

Djokovic's mood improved after Serbia forced a deciding set, having capitalised on a Zverev double fault to claim a vital break.

The 17-time grand slam champion held his serve to take out the second set 7-5 and force the rubber into a decisive super-tiebreaker.

Germany knock out Cup holders

A rollercoaster finish to the tie saw Serbia race out to a 3-0 lead in the super-tiebreaker, before Germany rallied to move ahead 5-4.

Djokovic was guilty of a rare double fault as the Germans rattled off six straight points to take a commanding 8-4 lead.

The Serbian duo managed to take one more point but Zverev completed the 10-7 boilover after holding both of his serves to send Serbia packing.

Germany will now meet Russia in the last four, with Spain to take on Italy.

The Italians already made it through to the semi-finals after topping Group C with wins over Austria and France.

Russia are also into the last four after accounting for Japan and Argentina in Group D.

Spain clinched Group B honours after Pablo Carreno Busta, deputising for injured world No.2 Rafael Nadal, defeated Michail Pervolarakis 6-3 6-4.

Carreno Busta's victory makes it impossible for Greece to overtake Spain, regardless of the result in Friday's tie.

with agencies

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