Novak Djokovic beats Alejandro Davidovich Fokina to secure Serbia a spot in the Davis Cup - UBITENNIS
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Novak Djokovic beats Alejandro Davidovich Fokina to secure Serbia a spot in the Davis Cup



Novak Djokovic beat Alejandro Davidovich Fokina 6-3 6-4 to clinch the tie for Serbia and secure Serbia its spot in the Davis Cup Final 8 in Malaga. Djokovic was playing his first match since winning his 24th Grand Slam title at the US Open. 


Djokovic went down 1-4 in the second set but he won five consecutive games to seal a straight-set win. The Serbian star dropped his serve on the only break point he faced in the match, but he bounced back by converting on three of his five break points. 

Both players held their serve in the first seven games. Djokovic held serve at 15 with a service game in the seventh game to take a 4-3 lead. Davidovich Fokina missed seven game points in the eighth game and was broken by Djokovic, who sealed the first set 6-3 with his backhand down the line winner in the ninth game after 51 minutes.

Davidovich Fokina served well at the start of the second set and earned the only break point in the fourth game. The Spaniard earned a break with a backhand down the line winner to open up a 3-1 lead and held on his serve to extend his lead to 4-1. Djokovic broke back in the seventh game to close the gap to 3-4 and held serve at 15 to draw level to 4-4. 

Djokovic broke at love in the ninth game to take a 5-4 lead earning his chance to serve for the match. He held serve at 15 after a forehand error from Davidovich Fokina. 

Djokovic ended the match with 10 aces and won 80% of his first serve points. 

Djokovic enjoyed a successful hard-court season this summer winning Cincinnati and the US Open. 

“I am on cloud nine, as you can say, with everything that has happening lately on the tennis court. Obviously playing for Serbia, is something completely different. It’s a huge responsibility and pressure, but also an incredible privilege and honour. I am really glad that I was able to contribute with a crucial point to qualify for Malaga with this win. Davidovich Fokina was playing aggressive, taking the ball early and not giving me much time. It was really tough, but when it mattered, I think I came up with the goods and played some good tennis”, said Djokovic. 

Laslo Djere beat Albert Ramos Vinolas 6-4 6-4 in the opening match. 

Nikola Cakic and Miomir Kecmanovic 6-4 7-6 (13-11) to complete the 3-0 sweep for Serbia. 

Serbia will take on Czech Republic, who are qualified for the Final 8, to determine the team that finishes on Group B. 

Great Britain beats Switzerland 2-1

Great Britain beat Switzerland 2-1 with wins from Andy Murray and the doubles team formed by Daniel Evans and Neal Skupski. 

Murray came back from one set down to beat Leandro Riedl 6-7 (7-9) 6-4 6-4 after 3 hours and 10 minutes. Murray broke Riedl in the second game of the first set, but he did not convert two set points on return at 5-3. Riedl broke back to take the match to the tie-break. 

Riedl fended off two more set points and sealed the tie-break 9-7 with a forehand. 

Murray converted his second break point in the seventh game of the second set after a double fault from Riedl. The Swiss player broke straight back in the next game. Murray broke again at love and held serve on a second set point. 

Murray earned an early break in the first game of the third set. Riedl broke straight back with a cross-court. Both players held their next service games, before Murray converted his third break point to take a 3-2 lead. The next five games went on serve. Murray closed out the match with a hold at 30. 

Murray paid tribute to his late grandmother in an emotional on court interview. He was unable to attend her funeral. 

“It was incredible to get through that one. It could have easily gone the other way, and his returning is ridiculous. The shots he was pulling off were amazing and it made very tough for me. I kept fighting and tried to stay focused. I managed to turn it around”, said Murray.  

Stan Wawrinka beat Cameron Norrie 7-5 6-4 in the second singles match to draw the tie level  to 1-1. 

Dan Evans and Neal Skupski beat Stan Wawrinka and Dominic Stricker 6-3 6-3 in the doubles match to seal the tie-break. Great Britain can reach the quarter final if they beat France on Sunday. 

Italy beats Chile 3-0 

Italy edged Chile with two comeback three-set wins at the Unipol Arena in Bologna. Matteo Arnaldi rallied from one set down to beat Cristian Garin 2-6 6-4 6-3 in his first singles match in the Davis Cup.  

Garin broke twice in the fifth and seventh games to win the first set 6-2. The second set went on serve until the 10th game when Arnaldi earned the break to force the match to the decider. Arnaldi converted his sixth break point in the fourth game to take a 3-1 lead. Garin saved three match points on his serve on his serve, but Arnaldi sealed the win on his fourth opportunity with an ace. 

“It’s never easy for your country. For the first time, so I was bit nervous. I think halfway in the second set I started to play a bit better. I started to put more pressure on him now and then. I think in the third set I played one of the best tennis of the season”, said Arnaldi. 

Lorenzo Sonego saved four match points to beat Nicolas Jarry 3-6 7-5 6-4. 

Sonego dropped his serve in the first game of the opening set. The Italian player fended off three break points in the third game. 

Sonego saved another break point in the fifth game, but Jarry converted his second break point in the ninth game to seal the first set 6-3. 

Sonego earned an early break in the first game of the second set. Jarry broke back in the eighth game to draw level to 4-4. 

Sonego fended off four match points in the 10th game to hold serve for 5-5 before breaking serve in the 11th game. He closed out the second set forcing the match to the decider. 

Sonego converted his first break point in the third game of the decider to take a 2-1 lead. Sonego did not take advantage of two match points on Jarry’s serve, but he he closed out the match after 2 hours and 43 minutes by holding his serve at love. 

“Crazy emotions. My heart was set on fighting and I am really happy to make a win for my team . I am delighted to have brought the point home. I really gave my soul. It’s always a thrill to play in the Davis Cup. I was good to pull this match up because the opponent was really strong. We stuck together. We ar all friends. We know that we can beat anyone. This team spirit gives us so much strength”, said Sonego. 

Sonego and Lorenzo Musetti completed the sweep with a 6-7 (3-7) 6-3 7-6 (7-2) win over Alejandro Tabilo and Tomas Barrios in the doubles match. 

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Maria Sakkari sets up quarter final match against Caroline Garcia in Tokyo



This year’s Guadalajara Open champion Maria Sakkari beat Misaki Doi 6-3 6-1 in 65 minutes at the Toray Pan Pacific Open in Tokyo. Sakkari hit 25 winners and did not face a break point to extend her winning streak to six consecutive matches. Doi played her last match of her career. 


Sakkari paid tribute to Doi in the post-match interview. 

“I don’t want to talk about me today. It was an honour to play against Misaki in her last ever professional match. You deserve to enjoy life, enjoy yourself, have some fun. We know how tough the  tennis life is. So take some time, and I am sure you will find a way to find something special again in your life. You had an amazing career, so congratulations”, said Sakkari. 

Sakkari set up a match against Caroline Garcia, who beat Anhelina Kalinina 6-4 6-3. 

Garcia fired 29 winners, including 10 aces, and dropped just seven first serve points. The French player raced out to a 3-0 lead, but Kalinina pulled back on serve to draw level to 3-3 and held three break points, but Garcia saved them to hold serve to hold serve at deuce to take a 4-3 lead. Garcia earned a break in the 10th game to close out the first set 6-4. 

Garcia broke serve in the eighth game of the second set after Kalinina hit her drop shot. Garcia served out by holding serve at love with consecuve aces. 

Former Roland Garros semifinalist Daria Kasatkina beat Despina Papamichail 6-4 6-4 in 2 hours. Kasatkina went up a 4-1 lead with a double break in the second set. Papamichail pulled both breaks back to draw level to 4-4. Kasatkina won the final two games to seal the second set 6-4 setting up a quarter final match against Jessica Pegula. Two-time Tokyo semifinalist Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova beat Linda Noskova 6-3 4-6 6-0 to reach the quarter final. 

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Marcos Giron battled past Stan Wawrinka in Astana



Marcos Giron came back to beat Stan Wawrinka 6-7 (6-8) 7-6 (7-4) 7-6 (10-8) in their first head-to-head match to reach the second round at the Astana Open. 


Both players went on serve and never faced a break point in the whole match. Giron earned an early mini-break to take a 5-4 lead in the tie-break of the third set. Wawrinka pulled back on serve to draw level to 5-5. Giron sealed the second mini-break to win the third set 8-6. The US player has won 20 tour-level matches this year. 

Giron set up a second round match against either Dominic Thiem or Juan Pablo Varillas. 

Frenchman Adrian Mannarino overcame his compatriot Arthur Rinderknech 7-6 (7-4) 6-2 to clinch his 33rd tour-level win of the season. Rinderknech earned an early break in the second game to take a 2-0 lead. Mannarino broke straight back to draw level to 2-2. Mannarino earned an early mini-break to open up a 4-2 lead. Rinderknech pulled back on serve for 3-4. Mannarino sealed the first set 7-4 with a second mini-break. Mannarino broke serve in the second and eighth game to close out the second set 6-3. 

Mannarino set up a second round match against Alibek Kachmazov, who beat Corentin Moutet 6-3 7-6 (7-5) in two hours and seven minutes. 

Jurij Rodionov came back from one set down to beat Gregoire Barrere 2-6 6-4 7-6 (7-5). Barrere earned two breaks in the second and eighth games to win the first set 6-2. Rodionov broke twice in the third and fifth games to race out to a 5-1 lead in the second set. Barrere pulled one break back in the eighth game and held his serve to claw his way back to 4-5, but Rodionov served out at 30 in the tenth game. Rodionov fended off two match points on serve at 4-5 in the third set before winning the tie-break 7-5 with a mini-break on the 12th point. Egor Gerasimov beat Bernabe Zapata Miralles 7-6 (7-5) 6-3. 

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Daria Kasatkina Criticises Decision To Not Use Roof At Sweltering Pan Pacific Open



Image via WTA twitter

Daria Kasatkina has taken a swipe at organizers at the Toray Pan Pacific Open for not using the roof to cover their premier court on Thursday due to the heat. 


The Russian played her second round match against Despina Papamichail in temperatures around 30 degrees with the humidity making it feel even warmer. Kasatkina battled to a 6-4, 6-4, win after spending more than two hours on the court. She dropped serve four times in the match but managed to break Papamichail seven times en route to victory. 

Speaking on the court following his latest tour win, the world No.13 admitted that she struggled in the conditions and implied that she believed the roof should have been closed to shield the players from the sun. Tokyo, which is where the tournament is staged, has experienced a record-breaking number of ‘extremely hot’ days this year with their autumn season being warmer than usual. Something that some warn could be a more regular occurrence due to climate change.

“We cannot do much about it. We are using the ice towels and some supplements to keep you hydrated. By at the end, you cannot fight with something you cannot control,” Kasatkina commented on the conditions during her on-court interview.
“I think in these kinds of conditions, if you have a roof, better maybe to close it. If you have these opportunities, better to use it than to make players almost die on the field.” She added. 

Kasatkina is through to her seventh Tour quarter-final of the season. Awaiting her in the next round will be second seed Jessica Pegula who beat Spain’s Cristina Bucșa 6-1, 6-2, in her second round match on Wednesday. It will be only the second Tour meeting between the two players and their first on a hard court. 

Elsewhere in Tokyo, another player to reach the last eight in France’s Caroline Garcia who beat Anhelina Kahlinina 6-4, 6-3. Meanwhile, Anastasia Pavlychenkova defeated Czech Republic’s Linda Noskova 6-3, 4-6, 6-0. 

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