Brisbane: Serbia have become the second team to enter the quarter-finals of the ongoing ATP Cup after they edged out France to top Group A.
An animated and emotional Novak Djokovic carried Serbia to the final eight as he alongside Viktor Troicki clinched the 2-1 tie victory in a deciding doubles match against France’s Nicolas Mahut and Edouard Roger-Vasselin.
The 16-time Grand Slam winner first saved nine break points to get past Gael Monfils 6-3, 6-2, before stepping back on the court with Troicki to defeat the French duo of Mahut and Roger-Vasselin 6-3, 6-7(5), 10-3.
“I really show my emotion because I really care about playing for Serbia, but I also care about being on the team with my friends. These guys are some of my best friends in my life and I grew up with Viktor. We played so many doubles matches together in junior days,” Djokovic was quoted as saying by the ATP Tour website after the match.
Australia booked its place on Sunday as the Group F winners, also in Brisbane.
Even without Andy Murray, Britain looks likely to advance to the quarter finals.
Britain No. 1 Dan Evans outclassed Radu Albot 6-2, 6-2 to clinch the fifth-day match after Cameron Norrie beat Alexander Cozbinov by the same score on Tuesday.
A 6-2, 6-3 doubles victory for Jamie Murray and Joe Salisbury over Albot and Cozbinov completed the 3-0 win’over Moldova, leaving the British in a good position to qualify for the for the quarter finals that begin Thursday at Sydney Olympic Park.
Murray announced late last month that he would not play at the inaugural ATP Cup or the Australian Open due to his continuing recovery from hip surgery.
Britain could top Group C and face Australia in Thursday’s first quarter final. But the British, captained by Tim Henman, are more likely to advance to the knockout stages as one of the two best pool runners-up at the season-opening 24-team event.
“It would be a lot of fun if that were the case,” Henman said of the potential match against Australia. “Obviously, I have a lot of history with (Australia captain) Lleyton (Hewitt) and everyone knows the team well. It would be a big challenge, but we would love that opportunity.”