Novak Djokovic - US Open 2023

Novak Djokovic left with ‘bitter feeling’ after Davis Cup exit

Novak Djokovic has been beaten by Jannik Sinner three times in the past two weeks, with the Serb losing his first Davis Cup singles match in 12 years.

Djokovic was left with the task of beating the Italian No.1 to send Serbia into the final after his compatriot Miomir Kecmanovic beat Lorenzo Musetti in the opening rubber.

Despite having three consecutive match points, Djokovic lost to Sinner, 2-6 6-2 5-7, losing the first match of his career from this position.

This then set up a deciding doubles rubber, which featured Djokovic and Sinner once again, being partnered by the aforementioned Kecmanovic and Lorenzo Sonego, respectively.

And it was the pairing of Sinner and Sonego who won in straight sets, 6-3 6-4, to send Italy into their first Davis Cup final since 1998.

In press after the match, Djokovic was very complimentary to the Italian team and specifically the world No.4, but also did not hold back on his disappointment.

“Congratulations to Italy for qualifying for the finals. They deserved it,” said Djokovic. “They played really well, particularly Jannik, in singles against me and then doubles, as well. He barely missed a ball the entire match.”

He continued, “For me personally it’s a huge disappointment, because I take the responsibility, obviously having three match points, being so close to winning it. It’s unfortunate really. This is sport. When you lose for your country, the bitter feeling is even greater.”

The 24-time Grand Slam champion has been very vocal about his desire to regain Serbia’s second Davis Cup title this year, but refused to blame fatigue after a busy few weeks.

“I don’t want to talk about it because it’s going to sound like an excuse. Obviously this is a tough one to swallow. I was really trying to hype myself and encourage myself for this week,” explained Djokovic.

“Throughout the entire season, my thoughts were this week with my Davis Cup team. I tried to contribute. I did in the first tie, but today it wasn’t meant to be.”

With Djokovic’s 2023 season coming to an end, it leaves a Davis Cup final between Italy and Australia that will take place later today.

Inside the baseline…

To see Novak Djokovic lose once in a day is a shock, but to see it happen twice is unheard of, especially after having three match points in a row in one of them. After his incredible feat today, Jannik Sinner has ended Djokovic’s 21-match Davis Cup singles winning streak and has become the first player to beat the Serb twice in the same event since Jo-Wilfried Tsonga did at the Bangkok Open back in 2008.

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Matthew Johns, Tennishead Writer, is a professional tennis journalist with a specialist degree in Sports Journalism. He's a keen tennis player having represented his local club and University plus he's also a qualified tennis coach. Matthew has a deep knowledge of tennis especially the ATP Tour and thrives on breaking big tennis news stories for Tennishead.