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By Chris Oddo | @TheFanChild | Saturday November 25, 2023

Jannik Sinner

Jannik Sinner rallied past Novak Djokovic and Italy topped Serbia to reach the Davis Cup final or the first time in 25 years.

Photo Source: Getty

Jannik Sinner split two matches with Novak Djokovic at last year’s Nitto ATP Finals in Turin, but ultimately lost out in the final.

On Saturday in Malaga, Sinner swept past the 24-time Grand Slam champion in singles and doubles as he guided Italy to its first Davis Cup final since 1998, where Australia waits.

Tennis Express

In the first meeting between the two nations at Davis Cup since 1988, Miomir Kecmanovic gave Serbia the lead with a 6-7(7), 6-2, 6-1 over Lorenzo Musetti, placing the pressure firmly on 22-year-old Sinner’s shoulders: either defeat world-beating Djokovic in singlers or Italy’s bid for Davis Cup glory would come to an end.

Sinner stepped and delivered not one but two victories over Djokovic to send the Italians to the final. First he saved three match points in a heated deciding set to notch a 6-2, 2-6, 7-5 singles victory over Djokovic; then he returned for the doubles alongside Lorenzo Sonego to finish off the tie, defeating Djokovic and Kecmanovic in a thrilling doubles encounter, 6-3, 6-4.

"They deserved it," Djokovic said. "They played really well, particularly Jannik, in singles against me and then doubles, as well. He barely missed the ball the entire match. So you can only say congrats and hats down for the performance like that."

Italy will bid for its first Davis Cup title since 1976 on Sunday in Malaga; Australia, which defeated Finland in the semifinals on Friday, is angling for its first title since 2003.

It was an incredible day for a player who has done nothing but prove himself in 2023. Sinner has become the highest-ranked Italian man in history, as well as the first man from his nation to win more than 60 matches in a season that has seen him take a step closer to being a true threat to win major titles.

The World No. 4 won four titles in 2023, and reached the semifinals at Wimbledon – he has now won nine of his last ten matches against Top-10 opposition, including a pair over World No.1 Djokovic.

Djokovic pushed the young star to the brink on Saturday, as he overcame a shaky opening set to take control of the match. He rifled through the second set and got the better of the opportunities in the third set, but Sinner held his ground, saving a break point in the second set and another in the eighth game, before executing his coup de grace by rallying from 0-40 down to hold for five-all.

Sinner won the final three games of the match, finishing off Djokovic in two hours and 33 minutes for his third career win over a reigning World No.1.

In the doubles Sonego and Sinner saved five of six break points and converted three of five to edge Djokovic and Kecmanovic in a spirited affair that could have gone either way. They saved four break points to hold for 3-3 in the second set, and broke through in the next game for the critical break.


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