Novak Djokovic couldn’t stop Serbia lacking out on the Davis Cup remaining after he and Filip Krajinovic misplaced within the decisive doubles in opposition to Croatia.
Djokovic beat former US Open champion Marin Cilic within the singles, levelling the semi-final tie after Croatia’s Borna Gojo gained in opposition to Dusan Lajovic.
Nikola Mektic and Mate Pavic, the world quantity ones, put Croatia into the ultimate with a 7-5 6-1 win in Madrid.
Croatia will play both the Russian Tennis Federation or Germany on Sunday.
With the experience of Mektic and Pavic proving essential in opposition to the 2 Serb singles gamers, Djokovic stated it illustrated the necessity for his nation to discover a robust doubles pairing if they’re to win the Davis Cup for a second time.
“We undoubtedly want to enhance our doubles a part of the group. We have to have a doubles group that’s continuously enjoying collectively,” stated Djokovic, who was instrumental in Serbia’s 2010 win.
“In any other case it should be a Mount Everest for us to climb each time we play like this.”
Croatia gained the primary singles rubber when world quantity 279 Gojo fought again to win 4-6 6-3 6-2 in opposition to Lajovic, stretching his 100% file to 3 victories in a dream Davis Cup Finals for the 23-year-old.
Djokovic levelled the best-of-three tie by incomes his nineteenth consecutive Davis Cup singles victory, combating off eight break factors in opposition to Cilic earlier than profitable 6-4 6-2.
That teed up a intriguing doubles match which featured the world’s greatest pairing and its main singles participant.
Mektic and Pavic, who gained the Wimbledon and Olympic titles in a dominant 2021 season, had gained all three of their Finals matches in straight units and once more confirmed their high quality to do the identical in opposition to the Serbs.
A decent first set swung the Croats’ approach with the primary break of the match in what proved to be the ultimate sport, then an early break within the second put them in command.
Djokovic was left kicking his bag in frustration because the Serbs trailed 3-1, sensing that it could be troublesome for him and Krajinovic to combat again.
So it proved. The doubles specialists shortly gained the subsequent three video games to place the 2005 and 2018 champions right into a fourth remaining.
The Russians, with top-five gamers Daniil Medvedev and Andrey Rublev of their group, have been the pre-tournament favourites and face Germany within the second semi-final on Saturday (12:00 GMT).
Germany are with out world quantity three Alexander Zverev, who didn’t wish to play within the revamped 18-nation Davis Cup Finals, however reached the final 4 by beating Nice Britain within the quarter-finals.