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Sinner Saves 3 MPs To Beat Djokovic, Leads Italy To Davis Cup Final | ATP Tour

Less than a week after their meeting in the Nitto ATP Finals title match, Jannik Sinner scored swift revenge against Novak Djokovic on Saturday in the Davis Cup semi-finals.

In a 6-2, 2-6, 7-5 singles victory, the Italian saved three match points by escaping 0/40 at 4-5 in the final set and broke immediately after to seize control of the match in Malaga. Sinner’s heroics kept Italy alive in the semi-final tie after Miomir Kecmanovic opened the day’s play with a 6-7(7), 6-2, 6-1 victory against Lorenzo Musetti.

Sinner then teamed with Lorenzo Sonego to defeat Djokovic and Kecmanovic 6-3, 6-4 in a decisive doubles match, sending Italy into its first Davis Cup final since 1998. Returning finalists Australia will provide the opposition in Sunday’s title tilt.

‘It was a roller coaster,” Sinner said of his two-hour, 35-minute singles victory against the World No. 1 — a description that also applies to the tie as a whole. “I was starting off really well. Second set he played much better than me. Third set I tried to serve really well, and also on match points down I served well.

“Happy to still be in the competition. We were one point away from being out.”

In the singles showdown, Sinner saved seven of nine break points, including five in the final set, to keep Italy’s Davis Cup dream alive. Djokovic faced just one break point across the final two sets, but Sinner claimed it in style with a forehand passing shot before confidently serving out the match.

While Djokovic found success with aggressive play in the second and third sets, he was unable to drag Sinner into a rally on his three match points. The Italian then capitalised on a brief dip from his opponent to bring up his first break point since the opening set, and he whipped a forehand down the line past a stranded Djokovic to move decisively ahead.

From 4-5, 0/40, Sinner won 13 of the match’s final 16 points.

The result improved Sinner to 2-4 in his Lexus ATP Head2Head with Djokovic overall and 2-2 this season, with his previous win coming last week in the Nitto ATP Finals group stage. Their Malaga meeting was their second match this season to require a decisive set, with Sinner previously winning a third-set tie-break in Turin.

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The drama of the pivotal doubles match belied the straightforward scoreline. After Sinner and Sonego won the opening set by claiming its lone break point, there were a combined 10 break chances in a thrilling second set. Following an early trade of breaks, the Italians fought out of a 0/40 hole at 2-3, saving four break points in a marathon game before breaking to lead 4-3.

They erased another break point as they served out the match to clinch a 2-1 victory in the semi-final tie and send Italy into its eighth Davis Cup final. The country is seeking its second title after first lifting the Davis Cup trophy 1976.

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