Serbia has a cheat code at the Davis Cup in the name of Novak Djokovic. After Miomir Kecmanovic was able to get by Jack Draper in the first match of the tie between Serbia and Great Britain, the only thing left for Serbia to get to the semis at the Davis Cup was for Djokovic to Cam Norrie. The Serb had little difficulty in doing so.
But to set things up for Djokovic, Kecmanovic had to fight for every point against Draper. Both players struck the ball cleanly and got into deep rallies. Each set went deep into a tie-break as well with Kecmanovic taking the first 7-2 and the second 8-6. Each player was worthy of winning but Kecmanovic did just enough to almost cement the tie for Serbia because Norrie was not going to beat Djokovic.
Almost every service game for Norrie seemed like a struggle. he and Djoko should have just started at deuce and gone from there. Meanwhile, the Serb had no issues on his own serve and ended any drama that he would win the games quickly. When Norrie won a service game, it almost appeared to be a Christmas miracle.
Novak Djokovic pushes Serbia through to Davis Cup semifinals
Djokovic wasn’t quite in the same form as he was in the semifinal and final of the ATP Finals, but that was such a high level of tennis that expecting even Djoko to continue playing in that manner is expecting too much. Norrie also did not play poorly. He did not beat himself. His issue was that he just does not do anything at a high enough level to consistently challenge the Serb.
This was simply never going to be a good matchup for Great Britain without Daniel Evans or veteran Andy Murray. Djoko had 10 service games and only lost 8 points on serve and never faced a break point while Norrie faced 12. Djoko also had 21 winners against 21 unforced errors while Norrie had 12 and 24, respectively.
The semifinals will now feature Italy against Serbia so we should get to see a Jannik Sinner versus Novak Djokovic matchup on Saturday, which, of course, is fantastic. In the other semi, which takes place Friday, Australia will face Finland. The final will be held on Sunday.