Defending champions Serbia had to work hard in the opening game of this year’s ATP Cup and beat Canada 2–1. In the first game of the day, Milos Raonic defeated Dusan Lajovic in an hour and 19 minutes 6-3 6-4, looking sharp and aggressive, hitting 26 winners and 25 unforced errors.
Milos lost just three points from the first serve and never faced a breakpoint. He urged Lajovich to do so again if he wanted to remain in the competition. The Serb could not find a way to get the correct answer or at least a tiebreaker as he applied a break in every sentence to drive Milos over the edge.
Raonic took the first break 4-3 in the opening set and after a few minutes released four winners to win the first set in style. Lajovic splashed a forehand error of 3-3 in the second set for the second set, allowing Milos to seal the deal with 5-4.
World No. 1 Novak Djokovic, who had no room for a mistake, played well in his first game of the season and took a hard-fought 7-5, 7-5 win against Denis Shapovalov in an hour and 53 minutes.
Novak and Dennis were also rivals in last year’s ATP Cup. The Serbs prevailed after two hours and 40 minutes with 4: 6, 6: 1, 7: 6.
Novak Djokovic and Filip Krajinovic defeated Canada
It was also a close fight in the first ten matches of each set today, and Novak used his experience to take the breaks he needed most to seal the deal in straight sets.
Djokovic had never broken so many bouts in his sixth win over Dennis, losing 14 points in 12 service games and using his two breaks to get his punches more efficiently to bring the score to 1-1.
In the deciding doubles, Novak Djokovic and Filip Krajinovic edged out Denis Shapovalov and Milos Raonic 7: 5, 7: 6 after a thriller to consolidate the win for Serbia. The Serbs took the final 14 points 5-4 to 12 in the first set to take a big step to victory in the last set.
The Canadians survived a challenging game in sets seven and nine in the second set and lost 7-4 to advance Serbia to the tiebreak.