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Spain Sets Aussie SF, After Help From Video Review

  • Posted: Jan 10, 2020

Spain Sets Aussie SF, After Help From Video Review

Spain to face Australia on Saturday night

Rafael Nadal rallied from his singles defeat to help push Spain past Belgium and into the ATP Cup semi-finals early Saturday morning in Sydney, and video review played a crucial role in the Spaniards’ victory as innovations continue to have an impact at the inaugural tournament.

Nadal and Pablo Carreno Busta came back to beat Belgium’s Sander Gille/Joran Vliegen 6-7(7), 7-5, 10-7 to clinch the tie victory 2-1. Spain will now prepare to face the host country Australia on Saturday night for a place in the inaugural ATP Cup title match.

Coming from Perth we didn’t have a lot of time to adapt and today the conditions were very heavy with humidity. Playing against David in the singles was a very difficult thing. But we are super happy to be in the semi-finals,” Nadal said. “We’re excited to play a very tough one against Australia. We will give our best like we have done all through our careers.”

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The Spaniards erased two break points at 3-4 in the second set, and they earned the first break of the night and grabbed momentum later in the second set on a video review.

With Gille serving at 5-5, 0/40, Vliegen smashed a floater away at net. But the review showed that Vliegen had reached over the net, giving the point to the Spaniards.

Video Review: Spain Breaks Serve After Successful Challenge

It was a welcome change for the Spaniards, who had asked for a video review on a similar call in the first set but the call was not overturned. But after their successful review in the second set, they then held and controlled the Match Tie-break, winning when Vliegen double faulted.

Belgium’s David Goffin forced the deciding doubles with a 6-4, 7-6(3) upset against the World No. 1 Nadal, only the second time the Spaniard has lost in singles while representing Spain (29-2; excluding Olympics).

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Millman On Epic QF Tie: 'It's Hard To Recreate Those Moments'

  • Posted: Jan 10, 2020

Millman On Epic QF Tie: ‘It’s Hard To Recreate Those Moments’

Millman relives the day Australia outlasted Great Britain in an epic tie.

John Millman and Team Australia got in tournament transportation at 7:30am on Thursday morning. Little did they know that in the next several hours, they’d create a moment at the ATP Cup that nobody will soon forget.

Australia defeated Great Britain 2-1, but their tie was far more dramatic than the final scoreline. Great Britain’s Daniel Evans beat Alex de Minaur in a final-set tie-break in the second singles match of the day to force a deciding doubles. And after not playing doubles throughout the group stages, De Minaur and Nick Kyrgios stepped into the drama-strewn situation, saving four match points against doubles stars Jamie Murray and Joe Salisbury, sending their country to the semi-finals.

There courtside through it all inside Ken Rosewall Arena was Millman. After many good shots in each of the three matches, the television camera panned to Millman and his countrymen in the Australian Team Zone, leaping out of their seats and, in some cases, out of the Team Zone to encourage those competing.

“I think that’s probably a bit more raw emotion. I think the beautiful thing about team competition is the fact that you do have a bench and obviously the crowd was creating a great atmosphere, but you do use the bench,” Millman said. “Those boys showed early that they wanted our energy, they wanted our support. So we played every point with them.”

Millman did not play a match on Thursday, but he was part of the equation. Captain Lleyton Hewitt asked him to move down a step to sit on the same bench as him.

“He told me to get down and play every point with the boys and with him,” Millman said. “To be able to be courtside next to Lleyton is something pretty special… to learn from him is something pretty special and something that I don’t take for granted.”

Kyrgios won the No. 2 singles match against Cameron Norrie in straightforward fashion, taking just 72 minutes. But the battle of De Minaur and Evans would be the longest of the tournament. Evans emerged victorious after three hours and 24 minutes.

“I thought the quality was incredible. Dan Evans played some smart and well-executed tennis and you know what you’re going to expect from Alex: he shrinks the court and moves so well and he was striking the ball beautifully,” Millman said. “It was one of those matches that I think you could say either guy could have won that match and you wouldn’t have had a problem with it.”

There was one point at which De Minaur needed help relacing his sneaker, so as Millman held De Minaur’s foot in place, Kyrgios fixed the laces. Anything the team needed, the Aussies helped one another. And while Millman wasn’t playing doubles, he had to help pump his countrymen up in the Team Room before the match following De Minaur’s loss.

“When he got back to the locker room obviously Alex was a little disappointed,” Millman said. “But I think Lleyton might have talked to Alex and Alex was ready to play some doubles.”

Australia lost the momentum after Evans’ thrilling victory. But Hewitt made a change to his line-up, replacing Chris Guccione and John Peers with De Minaur and Kyrgios.

“I think the one thing they wanted out of Alex was just to bring that energy. We have got guys that can play, and if you’re going to play we just want that energy and Alex straightaway, he hits that return winner and gives us a big come on so we knew he was present,” Millman said. “What makes him so special is his ability to bounce back and go again and that engine that he’s got is massive.

“With Nick, we kind of tossed around the idea that he might have played and he was ready to play. He wanted to play, he wanted the opportunity. I think with Nick moreso, you take probably a different approach. He’s a bit more laid back in his demeanour and you want to keep things light with him and keep them fun, so I find that really interesting.”

What followed was an epic to remember for years to come. Kyrgios and De Minaur hit back-to-back backhand return winners up the line to save one of the four match points they faced and then earn the one that they converted, when Salisbury missed a return long.

“Riding the emotions and those types of matches, it’s really hard to recreate those moments. They just happen. You don’t expect that to be the case when you wake up in the morning. You don’t know what to expect,” Millman said. “But until you actually live it, it was pretty special and they’re the ones you remember.”

What was tough for Millman was having to watch from the Team Zone. As exciting as it was, the Aussie could only watch and assist as needed. He couldn’t put a racquet in his hands and compete himself.

“I think it’s a hell of a lot easier playing, actually. When you don’t have any control over the issue, it’s tough, it’s tense and your palms are sweaty,” Millman said. “I’m just so happy that the boys managed to get through and they really deserved it. The emotions that they showed at the end were really special.”

As Millman said, it was a “massively long day”. After 6pm, following several hours in which he poured all of his emotions into helping his countrymen, Millman headed out to the practice court to strike some balls himself.

“That hit was really tough, because mentally and physically you’re just drained. It’s actually really exhausting. That was really difficult,” Millman said before reflecting on the day. “It was a really special atmosphere that the crowd created, that the team created. In a new competition like that, I think it’s really important to have some really big matches like that because they’re the ones that people will talk about for the duration of the year and then when we come back and revisit it in 2021, they’ll be the memories that people have.”

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Bautista Agut Puts Spain One Win From SF

  • Posted: Jan 10, 2020

Bautista Agut Puts Spain One Win From SF

Nadal to try to clinch against Goffin

Roberto Bautista Agut has still not dropped a set at the ATP Cup, and Spain is one win away from facing the host country Australia in the ATP Cup semi-finals.

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Bautista Agut, the highest-ranked No. 2 singles player in the tournament (No. 10), beat Belgium’s Kimmer Coppejans, who replaced Steve Darcis, 6-1, 6-4 on Friday night in Sydney. Bautista Agut broke four times and won 67 per cent (10/15) of his second-serve return points.

Rafael Nadal will face David Goffin for a chance to clinch the ATP Cup Final Eight matchup. Nadal leads his ATP Head2Head series 4-1 against Goffin.

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Serbia Looks To Use 'Home' Advantage Against Russia

  • Posted: Jan 10, 2020

Serbia Looks To Use ‘Home’ Advantage Against Russia

Djokovic battles Medvedev; Lajovic takes on Khachanov in Saturday semi-final

The members of Team Serbia and Team Russia are thousands of kilometres from their homes as they compete in Sydney at the ATP Cup. But after the Serbian squad experienced full-throated fan support throughout their quarter-final victory over Canada, they said it felt like they were playing at home. They’ll look to use the vocal crowd in Ken Rosewall Arena to their advantage when both teams meet on Saturday for their semi-final clash.

On paper, there’s little separating the two powerhouse lineups. Daniil Medvedev and Karen Khachanov are undefeated in singles for Russia, while Novak Djokovic matched that effort for Serbia and Dusan Lajovic is 3-1 in singles play. Each country also sports a 3-1 record in doubles. With both teams in top form, the Serbians hope that fan support can provide the slight edge that pushes them into the title match.

“When you have most of the stadium backing you up after every point, it makes a significant difference in terms of how you feel on the court,” Djokovic said. “Of course, you’re focussing on your game and what needs to be done tactically, but at the same time, you’re playing in a stadium. If the majority of the stadium is backing you up, it’s easier. You find that strength. You find that motivation.

“When you’re down, they lift you up. You feel more alert, more responsible because so many people are backing you up and supporting you that you have to deliver your best game. You want to play in this kind of atmosphere all the time, but it’s not always possible. That’s why I try to cherish these kind of moments and take them with me anywhere I go.”

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A blockbuster battle in the No. 1 singles match will see Djokovic take on Medvedev. Djokovic leads their head-to-head 3-2, including a four-set victory in last year’s Australian Open. But Medvedev has prevailed in their past two matches and picked up where he left off last season, which saw him finish the year with a Tour-leading 59 match wins.

“I like to play Novak. The matches with him are something special,” Medvedev said. “He’s one of the three best players in history, so of course it was great to beat him a few times, but every match is a new one. Every match is so tough with him and that’s how you progress, so I like to play against these top players.”

The No. 2 singles match features Khachanov squaring off with Lajovic. The Serbian holds a 2-0 record over Khachanov, but this will be their first meeting on hard courts. Lajovic found a new gear during his victory on Friday against #NextGenATP Canadian Felix Auger-Aliassime and said the vocal Sydney fans have fueled him to deliver his best tennis.

“The energy that they bring is unique. If you look at the overall season, there is not one place where you have as many Serbians as here because we don’t have any tournaments in Serbia,” Lajovic said. “When you have them in stadiums, it’s usually the minority of the fans, and here they are the majority. I think that this feeling cannot get old. The more they pump you up, the more energy you feel. Just thinking about it, I can get the goosebumps now. I think it really helps us a lot here in the ATP Cup.”

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Should the tie come down to doubles, Serbia will likely elect Djokovic and Viktor Troicki. The pair won their winner-takes-all match in Brisbane against last year’s Wimbledon finalists Nicolas Mahut/Edouard Roger-Vasselin (France). Khachanov/Medvedev went 1-1 in Group F play and Teymuraz Gabashvili/Konstantin Kravchuk have won both of their matches at this event without dropping a set, but Russia has yet to play a live doubles match.

Team Serbia captain Nenad Zimonjic said he hasn’t decided on a doubles pairing yet. But if Djokovic and Lajovic bring their current form, he’s optimistic that they can get the job done in singles.

“The Russian team is extremely tough. I would say that they have two really strong players, but also having Novak on [our] team and then Dusan in high form, I think everything is possible there,” Zimonjic said. “We’ll see how it goes after singles, but I think in both matches, we can win both of those.”

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Auckland Classic: Serena Williams & Caroline Wozniacki reach semi-finals

  • Posted: Jan 10, 2020

Serena Williams reached the Auckland Classic semi-finals with a straight-set victory over Germany’s Laura Siegemund.

The 23-time Grand Slam singles champion beat 73rd-ranked Siegemund 6-4 6-3.

Williams, whose last singles title came at the Australian Open in 2017, will play either Amanda Anisimova or Eugenie Bouchard in the last four.

Caroline Wozniacki reached the semi-finals with a 6-1 6-4 victory over the 2019 champion, German fourth seed Julia Gorges.

The Dane, who will retire after the Australian Open in Melbourne, will next play unseeded American Jessica Pegula.

Wozniacki and Williams will play their doubles semi-final against Belgian pair Kirsten Flipkens and Alison van Uytvanck later on Friday.

  • Live scores, schedule and results
  • World number one Barty beaten in Brisbane
  • Djokovic puts Serbia into ATP Cup semis

In Brisbane, world number four Naomi Osaka beat Kiki Bertens to reach the semi-finals and extend her winning streak to 14 matches.

Australian Open champion Osaka defeated Bertens 6-3 3-6 6-3 and will play either Czech Karolina Pliskova or American Alison Riske.

Petra Kvitova, who lost to Osaka in the Melbourne final last year, also reached the last four in Brisbane.

The Czech seventh seed defeated Jennifer Brady 6-4 6-2 to set up a meeting with Madison Keys, who beat fellow American Danielle Collins 6-4 6-1.

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How Preparation Is Different For Djokovic & Serbia At The ATP Cup

  • Posted: Jan 10, 2020

How Preparation Is Different For Djokovic & Serbia At The ATP Cup

World No. 2 speaks about how the members of Team Serbia help one another.

Each week on the ATP Tour, players prepare for their matches with their personal coaches. But the ATP Cup is a team competition, and World No. 2 Novak Djokovic revealed how having the ability to huddle up with countrymen makes the tournament different.

“We do get together and speak in the hotel before our matches every day, and each one of us shares his thoughts on maybe the opponent that he’s going to have or for the other guys’ match or doubles or whatever it is,” said Djokovic. “It’s quite, I think, open in terms of everyone really having an opportunity to share what they feel like, maybe some advice or things that they have noticed, their observations.”

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One of the positives that Djokovic noted about the ATP Cup is that each country’s Team Zone is right on the court, so he could interact with his fellow Serbians throughout the match. While Nenad Zimonjic is the Serbian captain, every player could share their thoughts with whoever is playing. On Friday, Viktor Troicki was doing just that for Djokovic.

“They are literally behind you,” Djokovic said. “So you get to interact and talk and ask them about things that they see that you can’t really see, what you’re doing right or wrong or what the opponent and the other player on the court is doing.”

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The group element could present the potential for too much information. So while Djokovic said that he and his teammates happily swap ideas about an opponent, they don’t go overboard.

“Everyone is slightly different, so you don’t want to interfere with someone’s routine,” Djokovic said. “Someone likes to talk more, someone likes to talk less, someone doesn’t like to talk at all. So we all respect each other’s trajectories in a way in preparation, and so far it’s been working well.”

Most players remaining in Sydney have their personal coaches with them. So while former World No. 1 Marat Safin says that he does not overstep, he is happy to give his opinion to those coaches to get on the same page and potentially deliver those messages to the players.

“We match with the coaches. We are talking about same things,” Safin said. “But they might say [it] with the different words. So it can get closer to the center of attention in some moments. Mainly it’s the same things. It might be fresh words”.

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ATP Cup: Novak Djokovic puts Serbia through to semi-finals in Sydney

  • Posted: Jan 10, 2020

Novak Djokovic fought back to beat Canada’s Denis Shapovalov and ensure Serbia reached the ATP Cup semi-finals.

World number two Djokovic rallied to beat Shapovalov 4-6 6-1 7-6 (7-4) and give Serbia an unassailable 2-0 lead in the tie after Dusan Lajovic beat Felix Auger-Aliassime 6-4 6-2.

Serbian pair Viktor Troicki and Nikola Cacic then beat Peter Polansky and Adil Shamasdin 6-3 6-2 in the doubles to secure a clean sweep in Sydney.

They will play Russia in the last four.

Australian Open champion Djokovic has won all of his singles rubbers at the ATP Cup but was made to work hard by Shapovalov.

  • Live scores, schedule and results
  • Williams through to Auckland semi-finals

Shapovalov, who has beaten top-10 players Stefanos Tsitsipas and Alexander Zverev at the tournament, broke Djokovic in the penultimate game of the first set before serving it out.

However, Djokovic blasted through the second, converting all three of his break opportunities to force a decider.

Djokovic served for the match at 5-4 in the third set and had a 30-0 lead when a spectator was taken ill in the stands and play was halted.

The Serb gave the fan a bottle of cold water as she was escorted out of the stadium but he lost the next four points when play resumed and Shapovalov broke back.

Shapovalov saved four match points, including two off the Djokovic serve, but the Canadian sent a forehand long as Djokovic secured victory in two hours and 41 minutes.

“This was the closest match I have ever played against Denis. It was so close, it could have gone a different way easily,” Djokovic said.

“He was playing some terrific tennis and I want to give a huge round of applause and credit to him.”

Spain will play Belgium later on Friday, with the winner playing hosts Australia in the second semi-final.

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Djokovic, De Minaur To Lead Charge In Adelaide; All You Need To Know

  • Posted: Jan 10, 2020

Djokovic, De Minaur To Lead Charge In Adelaide; All You Need To Know

Draw, schedule, tickets & more about the 2020 Adelaide International

Serbian Novak Djokovic and Australian Alex de Minaur have enjoyed a memorable start to 2020, battling to clinch their countries’ spots in the semi-finals at the ATP Cup. Next week, the pair will headline the field at another inaugural tournament, the Adelaide International.

World No. 2 Djokovic has enjoyed plenty of success in Australia. Last season, he became the first man to win seven titles at the season’s first major. Djokovic also visited Adelaide 13 years ago for the Next Generation Adelaide International, held through 2008, and claimed his third of 77 tour-level titles with a victory over Chris Guccione in the final.

The 20-year-old De Minaur enters Adelaide as Australia’s No. 1 player, climbing to a career-high No. 18 FedEx ATP Ranking after winning three ATP Tour titles in 2019. He celebrated his maiden title last January on the eve of the Australian Open at his hometown tournament, the Sydney International.

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The combined ATP and WTA tournament will also feature #NextGenATP star Felix Auger-Aliassime, 22-year-olds Andrey Rublev and Taylor Fritz, and Great Britain’s Daniel Evans, who won an epic match against De Minaur in the ATP Cup quarter-finals after three hours and 24 minutes.

Here’s all you need to know about the Adelaide tennis tournament: when is the draw, what is the schedule, where to watch, how to buy tickets and more. 

Established: 2020

Tournament Dates: 12-18 January 2020

Tournament Director: Alistair MacDonald

Draw Ceremony: Saturday, 11 January at 9am

Are You In? Subscribe To Get Tournament Updates In Your Inbox

Schedule (View On Official Website)
* Qualifying: Saturday at 10:00am and Sunday at 12:00pm
* Main draw: Sunday and Monday at 12:00pm, Tuesday at 12:00pm and 7:00pm, Wednesday – Friday at 1:00pm and 7:00pm
* Doubles final: Saturday, 18 January at 3:00pm
* Singles final: Saturday, 18 January at 7:00pm

How To Watch
Watch Live On Tennis TV  
TV Schedule

Venue: Memorial Drive Tennis Club
Main Court Seating: 5,000

Prize Money: US $546,355 (Total Financial Commitment: US $610,010) 

Tickets On Sale: Buy now at

View Who Is Playing, Seeds, Points & Prize Money Breakdown 

Hashtag: #AdelaideTennis
Facebook: @AdelaideInternationalTennis
Twitter: @AdelaideTennis
Instagram: @adelaideinternational

Did You Know… The Adelaide International Rally for Resilience, held on 12 January, will raise funds for bushfire relief in South Australia. “The night will feature support from the WTA and ATP Tours, Tennis Australia, Tennis SA, the Roger Rasheed Sports Foundation and Australian Tennis Foundation and the players to raise money to help those communities affected,” said Tournament Director Alistair MacDonald. “We encourage South Australians to get behind this initiative and we will continue to support the Aces for Bushfire Relief program operating throughout the summer of tennis.”

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After ATP Cup, Medvedvev, Khachanov Headed To Auckland; All You Need To Know

  • Posted: Jan 10, 2020

After ATP Cup, Medvedvev, Khachanov Headed To Auckland; All You Need To Know

Draw, schedule, tickets & more about the 2020 ASB Classic

Daniil Medvedev and Karen Khachanov have been unbeatable to start the 2020 ATP Tour season, going a combined 8-0 in singles action at the inaugural ATP Cup to carry Team Russia into the semi-finals. The two 23-year-olds, who will go up against either Team Serbia or Team Canada on Friday for a place in the final, will look to continue their success next week at the ASB Classic in Auckland. 

World No. 5 Medvedev is set to be the top seed in his first appearance at this ATP 250 tournament. Khachanov returns for the third time, and reached the quarter-finals on his most recent visit in 2018 (l. to Del Potro).

The 2020 field includes three other Top 20 players: Italian Fabio Fognini, Canada’s Denis Shapovalov and American John Isner, a two-time champion in Auckland (2010, 2014). Hubert Hurkacz, who went 3-0 for Team Poland with wins over Dominic Thiem, Borna Coric and Diego Schwartzman at the ATP Cup, will look to maintain his perfect start to the season.

Here’s all you need to know about the Auckland tennis tournament: when is the draw, what is the schedule, where to watch, who has won and more. 

Established: 1956

Tournament Dates: 13-18 January 2020

Tournament Director: Karl Budge

Draw Ceremony: Saturday, 11 January at 12pm

Are You In? Subscribe To Get Tournament Updates In Your Inbox

Schedule (View On Official Website)
* Qualifying: Saturday and Sunday at 11am
* Main draw: Monday – Thursday at 12:30pm and 7:00pm, Friday at 3:30pm
* Doubles final: Saturday, 18 January at 12:30pm
* Singles final: Saturday, 18 January not before 2:30pm

How To Watch
Watch Live On Tennis TV  
TV Schedule

Venue: ASB Tennis Arena
Main Court Seating: 3,500

Prize Money: US $546,355 (Total Financial Commitment: US $610,010) 

Tickets On Sale: Buy now at

View Who Is Playing, Past Champions, Seeds, Points & Prize Money Breakdown

Honour Roll (Open Era)
Most Titles, Singles: David Ferrer (4)
Most Titles, Doubles: Patrick Galbraith, Chris Lewis (4)
Oldest Champion: John Alexander, 31, in 1983
Youngest Champion
: Bjorn Borg, 17, in 1974

2018 Finals
Singles: Tennys Sandgren (USA) d [WC] Cameron Norrie (GBR) 64 62   Read More
Doubles: Ben McLachlan (JPN) / Jan-Lennard Struff (GER) d [3] Raven Klaasen (RSA) / Michael Venus (NZL) 63 64  Read More

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Hashtag: #ASBClassic
Facebook: @asbclassic
Twitter: @ASB_Classic
Instagram: @asbclassic

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Lajovic Puts Serbia On Brink Of ATP Cup SFs

  • Posted: Jan 10, 2020

Lajovic Puts Serbia On Brink Of ATP Cup SFs

World No. 2 Djokovic could close out the tie against Shapovalov

Dusan Lajovic gave Serbia a 1-0 lead against Canada in the Final Eight of the inaugural ATP Cup on Friday, defeating #NextGenATP star Felix Auger-Aliassime 6-4, 6-2 in one hour and 40 minutes.

There were dozens of Serbian flags flying throughout Ken Rosewall Arena, with a large Serbian contingent backing its man in the first match of the day. The fans were loud in their support of the World No. 34, who dominated rallies of eight shots or less 66-49, mostly by playing more consistent tennis. 

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Auger-Aliassime was not firing at his best against the Serbian, spraying his forehand at key moments. The Canadian made 32 unforced errors.

Lajovic, who went 2-1 in Group A play in Brisbane, gives World No. 2 Novak Djokovic a chance to send their country into the semi-finals when he faces Denis Shapovalov in a rematch of the 2019 Rolex Paris Masters final.

Serbian Crowd

Djokovic leads Shapovalov 4-0 in their ATP Head2Head series. But one thing Shapovalov has going for him is that the only country in which he has taken a set off Djokovic is Australia, doing so at last year’s Australian Open. Djokovic has won nine of the pair’s 10 sets by a margin of 6-4 or greater.

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