Novak Djokovic’s Serbia are out of the Davis Cup after a dramatic quarter-final loss to Russia in Madrid.
The world No.2 levelled the tie with a formidable 6-Three 6-Three victory over Karen Khachanov in singles after Andrey Rublev had thumped Filip Krajinovic 6-1 6-2.
With the tie coming all the way down to a deciding doubles rubber, Djokovic was subbed in to accomplice Viktor Troicki in opposition to Khachanov and Rublev, however it was the Russians who got here out on prime 6-Four 4-6 7-6 (10-8).
There was extra concern, in the meantime, about Djokovic’s troublesome proper elbow.
Having tweaked it throughout the ATP Finals however insisted it was nothing to fret about, Djokovic winced in ache and dropped his racket after hitting a backhand at 4-2 within the second set of the doubles.
He obtained remedy on the subsequent change of ends earlier than taking a medical timeout later within the set.
The second set introduced what had been a considerably flat encounter – not helped by one other underwhelming crowd – to life.
Troicki, particularly, was livid with two selections by the umpire after misguided line calls and argued his case vociferously.
Djokovic, in the meantime, whacked a ball angrily into the gang after one name contributed to his serve being damaged, however the Serbians gained the set to degree the match when Khachanov double-faulted.
With no breaks of serve within the third set, all of it got here all the way down to a deciding tie-break. Serbia had three possibilities to clinch victory however couldn’t take any of them, with Troicki dumping a volley horribly lengthy on the final.
Russia weren’t so charitable, needing only one match level to e book a semi-final date with Canada on Saturday.
Khachanov and Rublev, who’ve performed all of the rubbers between them this match within the absence of US Open finalist Daniil Medvedev, fell to the courtroom in an embrace for the time being of victory, whereas Troicki whacked his foot in anger.