Led by world no.2 Novak Djokovic, Serbia became the champions of the inaugural ATP Cup defeating Spain 2-1 and the multiple Grand Slam winner called it one of the most special moments of his career.
In a historic win, the Serbian team bested the Davis Cup winners with Djokovic winning his singles match against Rafael Nadal 6-2, 7-6 (7-4) pushing for a doubles decider. The Spanish team had already won the first singles match with Roberto Bautista Agut defeating Dusan Lajovic in straight sets. With Djokovic keeping their hopes alive in the Cup, the Serbian doubles duo of Djokovic and Viktor Troicki beat Pablo Carreno Busta and Feliciano Lopez 6-3, 6-4 to take home the first ATP Cup.
This was a special win for the Serbian team as they failed to move past the quarterfinals of the only other tournament of such a format, the Davis Cup Finals.
Ecstatic about their victory, Djokovic said:
“I’ll remember this experience for the rest of my life. It’s one of the nicest moments in my career.”
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Unbeaten at the ATP Cup, Djokovic ended his first tournament of the season with a brilliant record of winning six singles matches. For the 16-time Grand Slam winner, however, the biggest highlight of the tournament was playing for his country with his friends. Emotional about his 15-year long career, the 32-year-old said:
“…playing for the team, playing for my country with some of my best friends for a long time, you can’t match that. It’s too special.”
Scheduled to feature at another inaugural event, the Adelaide International, Djokovic withdrew from the tournament. While an injury was not the reason for his withdrawal, Djokovic is said to have made this move in order to get some rest before he returns to Melbourne Park as the defending champion.
Despite his record of seven wins at the major, Djokovic will be seeded second, after Nadal with Roger Federer as the third seed. The first major of the season is set to begin on January 20 in Melbourne Park.