Novak Djokovic beat Kevin Anderson 7-6 (5), 7-6 (6) in Serbia’s 3-0 victory over South Africa in the ATP Cup group on January 4.
The match was not easy for Djokovic, although the world’s number two player started well with two white winning games and one win game. After leading 4-1, the Serbian tennis player suddenly lost his game against Kevin Anderson – who played the first match after a half-year break due to a knee injury.
Anderson saved all the remaining break-points in the match, including four risks in the eighth game set one. In the previous game, the South African player won the “Nole” delivery game to regain the balance in the set. But in the tie-break series, Anderson let Djokovic break at the hinge score and lost the series with a score of 5-7.
No player wins the game to catch the ball in set two. Djokovic was under pressure when he was led 15-30 in the 10th game, but overcame the pressure with a backhand shot.
Anderson had a set-point in the tie-break series, but failed to capitalize on it. When the score was 6-6, Djokovic created a turning point with a short counterattack scoring winner. The world number two then takes advantage of match-points from the net.
A victory of 7-6, 7-6 helped Djokovic improve the record against Anderson to nine wins, two losses. In the previous encounter, Djokovic also easily won the opponent after three sets at the Wimbledon 2018 final.
Along with Dusan Lajovic’s victory over Lloyd Harris and victory in the doubles match, Serbia overtook South Africa 3-0 in the opening match of the ATP Cup. Djokovic and his teammates ranked first in Group A after the first match, because in the other match, France beat Chile 2-1.
The ATP Cup 2020 brings together 24 teams, divided into six groups to compete in a circle. Team matches will consist of two single matches and one double match. In particular, the two strongest players in each team, based on the ATP hierarchy, will meet in the second men’s singles match. The top six teams and the second best-performing teams will reach the quarter-finals.
The group stage runs from 3/1 to 6/1, with six team matches a day, split evenly in three cities Brisbane, Perth and Sydney. Three morning team matches start at 10am, and afternoon team matches start at 17:30, according to the time frame in each city.