Jannik Sinner pulled off one the most extraordinary accomplishments as he defeated Novak Djokovic twice — in singles and doubles — to lead Italy to the final of the 2023 Davis Cup in Malaga.
Italy made an excellent comeback and handed Serbia a 2-1 defeat as they qualified for the tournament’s final for the first time since 1998.
What is more surprising is that Sinner saved three match points against the 24-time Grand Slam winner. The Italian was 4-5, 0-40 down where one mistake could have ended his dream of playing the final but he kept his nerves calm and cruised to victory.
"I know that it was a really important, obviously important game. We changed, not for so long, for new balls, so I knew if I'm going to serve well that maybe I have some free points,” Sinner said after the match.
Another key in Sinner’s triumph from the jaws of defeat was he stayed in the present. The Italian wasn’t thinking of three match points and that’s what led him to a victory.
"But I had to stay in the present moment. It was Love-40, and he missed a quite easy backhand, which gave me a little bit of confidence and belief. And then after, I served twice really good. And nothing. You know, after these kind of games, your energy level and mental level, it's raising. I think this helped me today,” he added.
On the other hand, Djokovic, who had made the Davis Cup a priority, was disappointed as Serbia’s wait for their first title since 2010 will continue.
"Personally, it's a huge disappointment because I take the responsibility, obviously having three match balls, being so close to winning it," Djokovic said. "When you lose for your country, the bitter feeling is even greater."
The loss ended the Serb’s 21-match winning streak in the Davis Cup singles matches. After suffering a defeat against the Italian in the singles, Djokovic paired with Miomir Kecmanovic against Lorenzo Musetti and Sinner in the doubles which he lost 3-6 and 4-6.
Italy will play Australia for the Davis Cup title on Sunday. The last time they won the honour was in 1976.