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Australia reaches Davis Cup semis by beating the Netherlands Djokovic matches Federer’s record with 6th ATP Finals title Djokovic beats Fritz to reach final of ATP Finals

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MALAGA, Spain. Alex de Minaur and Jordan Thompson won their singles matches to help Australia reach the Davis Cup semi-finals for the first time since 2017 at the expense of the Netherlands.

De Minaur beat Botić van de Zandschulp 5-7, 6-3, 6-4 to end the series 2-0 and set up a semi-final draw with either Spain or Croatia.

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“We have a great team, a lot of faith and a lot of passion,” De Minaur said. “I am very happy with today’s victory. “Each of these players on our team will play with all their heart. We will do our best for our country.”

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Australia is the second most successful country in team competition with 28 titles, but the most recent triumph dates back to 2003.

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De Minaur ended his play with a break in Game 10 of the final set, taking a 40-0 lead and converting the first match point on an indoor hard court in the southern Spanish city of Malaga.

He started his comeback by breaking Van de Zandschulp in the first and last games of the second set. The Dutchman took the first set with a break in the 12th installment. He had three group stage victories, including a victory over American Taylor Fritz.

Previously, Jordan Thompson also pulled out to defeat Tallon Greekspur 4-6, 7-5, 6-3 to give Australia a 1-0 lead.

The Aussie made 16 aces to take down his Dutch rival in a tense match that lasted almost three hours.

“The Davis Cup is something special, you feel that extra pressure, so I was a little tense at first,” Thompson said. “He played great tennis, but I held on and got a little more aggressive as the match progressed. It means peace.”

Thompson was given a decisive break to take a 4–2 lead in the final set and held on. After losing the opening set, the Australian returned with a break in the 12th game of the second set.

The final doubles of Wimbledon champions Matthew Ebden and Max Purcell of Australia against Wesley Koolhoff and Matwe Middelkop of the Netherlands was not played.

The quarter-final match between 2019 champions Spain and 2021 runners-up Croatia will take place on Wednesday.

The quarter-finals wrap up on Thursday as the US faces Italy and Canada faces Germany. The semi-finals will take place on Friday and Saturday, with the name to be decided on Sunday.

TURIN, Italy. Novak Djokovic captured a record-breaking sixth ATP Finals title by defeating third-place Kasper Ruud in a fantastic end to the Serb’s season.

Djokovic won 7-5, 6-3, claiming his first tournament title since 2015 and equaling Roger Federer’s record.

Djokovic, 35, who had lost the previous two finals at the tournament, raised his hands and smiled broadly as he ended the match with an ace.

“Seven years is a long time,” Djokovic said. “At the same time, the fact that I have been waiting for seven years makes this victory even sweeter and even bigger.

“Lots of nerves… Missed a couple of forehands in the last game when I pitched for him. I had nerves, but I am very grateful for the opportunity to serve the match. I had a big ace to close.”

Djokovic became the oldest champion of the prestigious tournament at the end of the year, and also earned the biggest purse in tennis history, earning $4.7 million for taking the ATP Finals trophy undefeated.

“I made him run, I made him play,” Djokovic said. “I wanted to be very aggressive and that worked out great. I am very pleased with the performance.”

It was Ruud’s fourth loss in a major championship match this year after losing the finals to Miami, Roland Garros and the US Open. Ruud has never won a set against Djokovic in four meetings.

“In the end, it was very disappointing to lose those big finals,” Ruud said. “In general, if I were offered to finish the year in 3rd place, to play those finals in which I played, on January 1 this year, I would probably immediately sign a contract. There is no doubt about this.

“It gives me motivation and thirst, maybe next time – if I ever get to another final like this – I hope I can learn from what I did this year and failed to do, and see how things go.”

Djokovic got off to a strong start in Turin and scored two break points on Ruud’s first serve. The Norwegian managed to recover, although he was also forced to save another break point in the eighth game.

Djokovic finally interrupted Ruud’s serve for the fourth time. And it was at the decisive moment, in set point, and he enthusiastically threw his fist into the air after Ruud landed a long backhand.

No. 7 Djokovic broke down again in the fourth game of the second set, and there was no turning back for Ruud.

Djokovic finished the year 18-1, winning trophies in Tel Aviv and Astana before reaching the Paris Masters final. His five titles this season also include triumphs at Wimbledon and Rome.

And his coach, former runner-up Goran Ivanisevic, issued a stern warning to Djokovic’s rivals.

“He trains even harder than when he was 22,” Ivanisevic said. “That’s why he’s still so good, and that’s why he’s still going to be even better.”

TURIN, Italy. Novak Djokovic maintained his bid for a record-breaking sixth ATP Finals title by defeating Taylor Fritz of the United States to advance to the final of the prestigious season-ending tournament.

Djokovic, who went unbeaten in the group stage, won 7-6(5), 7-6(6) in less than two hours in Turin to secure his second match point victory.

Now he has won all six meetings against the 25-year-old Fritz.

In Sunday’s final, the Serb will face either third-place Kasper Ruud or Andrey Rublev as he tries to win his first title in the tournament since 2015 and match Roger Federer’s record.

Djokovic had to recover quickly from a grueling three-hour victory over Daniil Medvedev in his last group match, which ended less than 24 hours earlier.

“I had to fight to survive,” Djokovic said. “Today I didn’t feel very reactive or very comfortable. I knew going into today’s matchup after yesterday’s grueling battle with Medvedev, I knew it would take me some time to adjust and find the dynamic move I needed against Fritz, who is one of the best servers on the tour.

“I’m very happy that I got over it as I don’t think it was one of my best days in tennis, but I managed to get through it.”

Thanks to Fritz’s energetic performance, he bounced back from his breakdown in the first set. The American also broke down in the first game of the second and appeared to be on the verge of equalizing as he took a 5-3 lead.

But Djokovic broke down and again found a way to break through in the tie-break.

“I had to be very patient, I didn’t start the second set very well,” Djokovic said. “But I managed to interrupt his serve at 5-4 when he served for the set, like yesterday when Medvedev served for the match.

“At times like this, I find another pass and I manage to keep my composure and get him to play another tie-break shot.”

In addition to possibly matching Federer’s record, Djokovic could also claim the biggest payout in tennis history on Sunday, with $4,740,300 being offered for the undefeated ATP Finals trophy.



Source: sports.nbcsports.com

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