ATP Cup: Novak Djokovic-inspired Serbia beat France to reach quarter-finals

Novak Djokovic and Viktor Troicki celebrate ATP Cup win

Novak Djokovic led Serbia to the quarter-finals of the inaugural ATP Cup by winning both his singles and doubles matches against group rivals France.

After France led through Benoit Paire’s win over Dusan Lajovic, world number two Djokovic beat Gael Monfils 6-3 6-2.

Djokovic and Viktor Troicki beat Nicolas Mahut and Edouard Roger-Vasselin to win 6-3 6-7 (5-7) 10-3 at 00:40 local time in Brisbane.

Rafael Nadal’s Spain beat Uruguay to close on the last eight in Australia.

After world number 10 Roberto Bautista Agut thrashed Franco Roncadelli 6-1 6-2, world number one Nadal eased past Pablo Cuevas 6-2 6-1 to seal the Perth tie before Feliciano Lopez and Pablo Carreno Busta beat Ariel Behar and Juan Martin Fumeaux 6-1 3-6 10-3 in the doubles.

The one-sided victory in the best-of-three tie completed a second whitewash for the Davis Cup champions, who beat Georgia on Saturday.

They will finish as Group B winners if they beat Japan on Wednesday.

Austria boosted their chances of qualification from Group E with a 3-0 win against Argentina in Sydney.

World number four Dominic Thiem beat Argentine number one Diego Schwartzman after team-mate Dennis Novak recovered from a first-set bagel to beat Guido Pella 0-6 6-4 6-4.

Oliver Marach and Jurgen Melzer won the doubles as Austria put their opening defeat by Croatia behind them.

Monday’s ATP Cup results
Brisbane (Group A) Perth (Group B) Sydney (Group E)
Day session: South Africa 3-0 Chile Japan 2-1 Georgia Croatia 2-1 Poland
Night session: Serbia 2-1 France Spain 3-0 Uruguay Austria 3-0 Argentina

The ATP Cup features six groups of four teams, who each play three round-robin ties in an event played across three Australian cities, Sydney, Brisbane and Perth. The six group winners, plus the best two runners-up, will progress to the quarter-finals.

Great Britain must beat winless Moldova in Tuesday’s final group tie to stand any chance of reaching the quarter-finals.

Without the injured Andy Murray, Tim Henman’s team lost Friday’s opener to Bulgaria before fighting back to beat Belgium on Sunday.

Anderson targeting Grand Slams after win

Former Wimbledon finalist Kevin Anderson says he is still capable of winning a Grand Slam after earning his first win since knee surgery as South Africa beat Chile in Group A.

Anderson, 33, pushed Novak Djokovic on Saturday in his first match since July, before easing past Cristian Garin 6-0 6-3 in Monday’s evening session.

It clinched a 3-0 win over the Chileans and helped South Africa earn their first win at the inaugural 24-team event in Australia.

Anderson, who lost to Djokovic in the 2018 Wimbledon final, was ranked eighth when he suffered a knee injury during last year’s tournament at the All England Club.

Kevin Anderson helps South Africa win at the ATP Cup<!–

He missed the rest of the 2019 season as a result and needed surgery in September, but has not looked far from his best at the ATP Cup on his return.

Anderson, who also reached the 2017 US Open final, where he lost to Rafael Nadal, needed just one hour and 14 minutes to beat world number 33 Garin.

That clinched the tie for South Africa following Lloyd Harris’s 6-4 6-4 victory over Nicolas Jarry, before Raven Klaasen and Ruan Roelofse beat Garin and Jarry 1-6 6-3 10-7 in the doubles to complete the whitewash.

“My best ranking is top five, so I would like to get back there,” Anderson said, who is now the world number 147.

“I want to win a Masters series. I’m definitely a good enough tennis player to do that. I’ve put myself in good positions but haven’t quite taken that step.

“And then, obviously, the grand prize in tennis: a Grand Slam. I’ve been in two finals. That’s the ultimate goal for me. It’s one that I really feel like I have a good chance of doing it.”

Croatia also moved closer to the quarter-finals with their second win in a row, former US Open champion Marin Cilic leading them to a 2-1 win over Poland in Group E.

Japan, who are without star player Kei Nishikori through injury, gave themselves hope of progressing by following up their opening win over Uruguay with a 2-1 victory against Georgia in Group B.

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