Novak Djokovic kick-starts 2021 with ‘very high level’ win and pays tribute to ‘phenomenal’ team-mate
Novak Djokovic was delighted to get past the “dynamic, explosive” Denis Shapovalov in his ATP Cup opener and also hailed team-mate Filip Krajinovic as “key” to Serbia’s doubles win over Canada.
The world No 1 took his ATP Cup record to 10-0 on Tuesday as he first got the better of Shapovalov and then teamed up with Krajinovic to give Serbia the 2-1 victory.
After Milos Raonic handed Canada the lead with a 6-3, 6-4 win over Dusan Lajovic, it was up to Djokovic to keep his country in the tie.
And he duly delivered as he beat Shapovalov 7-5, 7-5 in just under two hours with one break in each set enough to set up the win.
— Tennis TV (@TennisTV) February 2, 2021
“It was a very close match. Playing Shapo is always a great challenge on hard courts,” Djokovic said.
“He’s such a dynamic, explosive player; very talented. I thought we played on a very high level, so I’m really pleased with how I’ve started the season. This is the best way to kick-start the season, playing for your country.”
The 17-time Grand Slam winner then returned to team up with Krajinovic, beating Raonic and Shapovalov 7-5, 7-6 (7-4) to give Serbia the overall win.
“Filip Krajinovic was the key,” said Djokovic. “The way he played today is phenomenal. He came out [with] very solid returning. He found his serve, great rhythm. [He] just played some really key shots in the second set when we needed it the most.”
Serbia will be back in action on Thursday when they face Germany.
Tim Henman says ‘mesmerising’ Roger Federer ‘won’t just make up the numbers’ upon his return
Tim Henman on Roger Federer’s comeback.
Andrey Rublev expects ‘fun’ match against ‘true legend’ Andy Murray as Scot praises Russian’s work ethic
Andrey Rublev and Andy Murray sing each other’s praises.
Stefanos Tsitsipas explains how change in mindset helped him to turn things around in Rotterdam opener
Stefanos Tsitsipas shows some fight in Rotterdam win.
Andy Murray set for Rotterdam second-round clash with world No 8 Andrey Rublev
Murray and Rublev’s only other meeting was in 2017.
Novak Djokovic unlikely to return to action before clay season as there ‘is no need to take any risks’
Novak Djokovic unlikely to feature at the Miami Open.
Tennis Top 10
Top 10 oldest No 1 ATP players: Novak Djokovic now the second oldest No 1, but will he catch Roger Federer?
Roger Federer currently holds the record.
Goran Ivanisevic slams media for ‘thrashing’ Novak Djokovic, rating 2021 Australian Open as his ‘sweetest’
Goran Ivanisevic takes aim at the media.
Ashleigh Barty pulls out of Dubai tournament, but hopes to defend Miami Open title
Ashleigh Barty won’t be travelling to the Middle East.
Roger Federer to skip Miami Open as he opts to ‘slowly work his way back’ following injury
Roger Federer won’t feature at the Miami Open.
‘I’m playing for my career’ – Honest Andy Murray admits retirement question is lingering
Andy Murray fought back to beat Robin Haase in Rotterdam.