Having entered the quarter-finals of the ongoing 2021 Davis Cup Finals, Novak Djokovic‘s Serbian team were one of the two teams that qualified from the second position in their respective group, given their better record in games and sets won. Sweden is the other to move into the quarter-finals after finishing second in their group.
The Serbians had to hope for a Russian victory in the match between Spain and the Russian Tennis Federation and with the win in the doubles match, Russians and the Serbians both rejoiced having qualified for the last-8. In the quarter-finals, Serbia will now take on Group B winners Kazakhstan who lost just 1 rubber tie from the 6 they contested in the round-robin stage.
Even though the Kazhak’s don’t have any big-name playing for them, World No. 1 Novak Djokovic is cautious going into the match. The Serbians have struggled during the doubles match while Kazhakstan’s pair of Andrey Golubev and Aleksandr Nedovyesov has dropped only 1 set in their two matches so far.
“They were the first of their group without trembling. Bublik is still a dangerous player with great serve, a powerful and quality ball strike. Kukushkin is their experienced player because he has been defending his country’s colours for a long time. I remember a duel of more than 5 hours against him [referring to the 2016 Davis Cup match where Novak won 6–7, 7–6, 4–6, 6–3, 6–2).
“In doubles, their team is also strong. For all these reasons, we must not underestimate this team, especially since we are so happy to be still in the competition,” said Djokovic as reported by Welovetennis.fr.
Novak Djokovic 1 win away from having his second best season in last 5 years
Djokovic is currently 53-7 for the season having gone 7-0 on grass, 9-1 on indoor hardcourts, 18-3 on clay and 19-3 on outdoor hardcourts. If he wins his singles tie against Alexander Bublik who will be Kazakhstan’s best shot at keeping the 20-time Grand Slam champion quiet, Novak will have his 54th win of the season, his second-best season tally in the last 5 years.
Novak’s record of 57-11 in the 2019 season remains his best since he went 65-9 in the 2016 season and the best since the 2017 season. A win against Bublik will see him overtake his record from 2018 when he finished with a 53-13 record.