Novak Djokovic defeated Rafael Nadal, and tied the result in the ATP Cup finals between Serbia and Spain to 1-1. The final result of their 55th matchup was 2-0 for Novak, by sets 6-2, 7-6. Later, the Serbian double defeated Spain capturing the first ever ATP Cup trophy.
The finals of the ATP Cup featured the contest between two top tennis players in the world, and we need to say that as usual, the two provided excellent fun for the audience.
Coming into this event, Spain had a lead over Serbia, due to Roberto Bautista-Agut’s win over Dusan Lajovic in the opening contest of the day. The Spanish player won 2-0, 7-5 6-1. That is why Djokovic had to give his best and extend the hope for the Serbian team.
The doubles will decide the title!
— ATPCup (@ATPCup) January 12, 2020
Novak was very dominant in the first set, using every chance to pressure Nadal, who couldn’t find the solution for the Serb’s game. To give clear a picture of the difference in quality, we will just say that Novak didn’t have to face any break-point chances, while on the other hand, he took Nadal’s serve twice.
The Joker also had 80% of the first serve percentage, while Nadal posted mush worse figures, 63%, and he won just 53% of points on his serve.
In each aspect of the game, Novak was more dominant, restraining Rafa’s topspin forehands with his fantastic backhand parallels. It is, in fact, the tool that separates Djokovic from all other players when playing against the Bull from Manacor.
The crowd at Ken Rosewall Arena made the atmosphere electrifying, and it reminded more of a Davis Cup event than anything else. Although being far away from the homeland, the Serbian player had massive support of the fans, because of many Serbians who live down under.
“It’s really unbelievable,” Novak said. “The amount of support we got in Brisbane, and group stages, and here in Sydney, you guys took it to a different level.”
They were euphoric after each point Djokovic won, which frustrated Nadal a little bit, and the always calm Spaniard even reacted once, gesturing towards the stands with his thump up, of course, ironically.
— ATP Tour (@atptour) January 12, 2020
The second set saw much more excitement, as Nadal began playing much better, and even pressured his rival midway through the period. In the sixth game, with the result 3-2 for the Spaniard, Djokovic had to save five break-points before taking this one in his favor.
Rafa was up 0-40, and even had two more opportunities to take the Serb’s serve, but simply, Djokovic rose to the occasion and did what seemed almost impossible.
Then a similar situation happened in the 11th game, only this time, it was Novak who failed to utilize his break chances. The set was heading into a tie-breaker in which Nadal struck first to take a mini-break. Yet, Djokovic responded immediately, adding one more shortly after to seal the contest.
Novak posted his 29th win in the matches against Nadal, who has 26. It is by far the biggest rivalry in tennis, and although many believe otherwise, these two guys are truly the symbols of the previous decade when it comes to this sport.
The ATP Cup winner was decided after doubles. Both Nadal and Djokovic were announced to participate, but Rafa withdrew in the last moment, forcing Feliciano Lopez to jump in and play alongside Pablo Carreno-Busta. Viktor Troicki and Novak were better than the Spanish team, 2-0, 6-3 6-4.
Nikola Velickovic is a sports journalist who loves to write and read on all sports. Nikola contributes both news updates and functions as a sports breaking news writer at WagerBop.