Semi-final Saturday in Sydney and 4 best team of the tournament were looking to seal a place in the final. The day witnessed some exciting matches in both singles and doubles departments. Let’s get a recap of what all went across through the day.
Serbia vs Russia
In the 1st contest it was Serbia led by Novak Djokovic and Russia led by Daniil Medvedev who would come head to head. The 1st match put Dusan Lajovic against Karen Khachanov. The later started as pre-match favorite being a more experienced and accomplished player. However the Serbian Lajovic who has progressing rapidly with every tournament looked devastating. In 2 tight sets he defeated Khachanov with the score off 7-5 and 7-6, thus giving his side any early lead and taking pressure off his compatriot Novak Djokovic.
The 2nd match saw Djokovic and Medvedev who had some great matches in 2019 come across each other. The Serb took the first set 6-1 and was leading with a break in the second till Medvedev broke back. The Russian then broke the Djokovic serve at just the end of 2nd set and thus put himself on level terms and force the 3rd set.
In the deciding set both players were fighting neck to neck till the 9th game when Djokovic broke the Medvedev serve. The Russian tried to break back in the following game and even had few break back points but Djokovic held his serve with a lot of determination and thus took his team to the final match. Serbia’s pair of Troicki and Cacic also won the doubles match to make it a clean sweep.
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Spain vs Australia
In the night session the home team Australia would play against tournament favorites Spain. The 1st match was between Nick Kyrgios and Roberto Bautista Agut, both of whom had been looking devastating in the tournament. However Kyrgios began to lose touch since the match start and Bautista quickly raced to 5-0 before taking the 1st set 6-1. The story wouldn’t took different in the 2nd set and Bautista took it 6-4 to put his country one match shy of the final.
In the 2nd match World Number 2 Rafael Nadal was up against Alex de Minaur who broke in the very 1st game and then threatened an upset alert by taking the 1st set. Nadal who had lost the previous single match against Goffin looked visibly shaken when he was down a break in the 2nd set also. However the Spanish great would recover to get back the break and the he broke the de Minaur Serve in the 12th game to win the 2nd set and force the decider.
In the final set Nadal looked as if he had tasted blood. He ran through de Minaur winning the 1st four games in quick succession. The set then went to the World Number 1 with the score line of 6-1. Nadal had put Spain into the final even without the need of a doubles match. Even in the doubles match the Spanish pair of Feliciano Lopez and Pablo Carreno Busta beat the Australian duo of John Peers and Chris Guccione in 3 sets thus making it a whitewash.
Thus the stage was set for the two best sides of the tournament Spain and Serbia to collide in the deciding match. It would also include a dream singles contest between the World Number 1 Rafael Nadal and World Number Novak Djokovic. The match could also give a fair idea of which player is in better prospects just before the season’s first Grand Slam the Australian Open in Melbourne, a week later.