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Davis Cup: Djokovic falls to Sinner, Italy revives

Three match points: qualification for the Davis Cup final was within Novak Djokovic's racket reach, but Jannik Sinner upset the Serbian's plans by equalizing at 1-1 for Italy (6-2, 2-6 , 7-5) against the world No.

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Davis Cup: Djokovic falls to Sinner, Italy revives

Three match points: qualification for the Davis Cup final was within Novak Djokovic's racket reach, but Jannik Sinner upset the Serbian's plans by equalizing at 1-1 for Italy (6-2, 2-6 , 7-5) against the world No.1, Saturday in the semi-final in Malaga.

After this resounding setback for the man with 24 Grand Slam tournaments against the 4th player in the world, qualification for Sunday's final against Australia will therefore be decided during the doubles.

An additional match which "Nole", already winner of the Davis Cup in 2010, would have done well without, but who made this competition "one of his greatest objectives", at the conclusion of an almost perfect year with three new Grand Slam titles (Australian Open, Roland-Garros, US Open). The defeat against Sinner stopped the Serbian's mechanical ball. Beating the world No.1, Sinner, has already done it. It was 11 days ago in Turin, in the group match of the ATP Masters 7-5, 6-7 (5/7), 7-6 (7/2).

But in the final of the tournament last Sunday, Djokovic, 36, gave a lesson to the young 22-year-old Italian (6-3, 6-3) to offer himself the seventh Masters of his career, in the wake of his seventh Masters 1000 from Paris.

In Malaga, Sinner took his revenge to keep Italy alive after the first point won by the Serbs thanks to the success of Miomir Kecmanovic (55th in the world) against Lorenzo Musetti (27th) 6-7 (9-7), 6 -2, 6-1.

Imperial against his elder, thanks in particular to 12 winning shots against just one for his opponent, Sinner concluded this first set with an ace and a shutout (6-2). But “Nole” found his tennis again during the second round, when the Italian was more feverish, like this double fault which allowed the Serb to break (3-1). The world No.1 once again took Sinner's service to equalize at one set all (6-2).

In danger at the start of the last set, Sinner escaped thanks to his service, achieving 4 aces during a first game which lasted almost 15 minutes. It was also thanks to his service that he saved three match points before turning the game around by making the break. Always impressive on his play (12 aces in total), the Italian concluded with a winning service after 2h30 of arm wrestling.

Italy has offered itself a reprieve, Serbia will play for its survival in this 2023 edition. Friday, Australia qualified for the second consecutive year in the final by beating the surprising Finland 2-0, winners in the quarterfinals of the Canada, holding the trophy. As regulars, the Australians will play the 49th final in their history on Sunday in this competition which they have won 28 times.

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