Novak Djokovic made a winning return to action following his U.S. Open triumph, as the world number one helped Serbia book their place in the quarter-finals of the Davis Cup with a group stage victory over hosts Spain. Playing just five days after lifting his 24th Grand Slam title in New York, Djokovic overcame the hot and humid conditions early on to recover from 4-1 down in the second set and beat Alejandro Davidovich Fokina 6-3 6-4 in Valencia.
The result gave Djokovic his 13th straight win in a Davis Cup tie and improved Serbia’s chances of a first semi-final appearance since winning the 2023 tournament in Malaga. The 36-year-old has 20 Davis Cup singles victories, tying him with legend Nenad Zimonjic.
Djokovic’s impressive victory in Valencia means he is now unbeaten on home soil this season in both singles and doubles. He has a perfect record of 11 wins and one defeat against Spain this year. Djokovic’s dominance extended to the other two rubbers on Friday as he and Laslo Djere eased to a 7-5, 6-3 victory over Albert Ramos-Vinolas and Mariano Martin del Potro.
Victory in the opening rubber put Djokovic in control of the tie as he and the Serbs look to secure their spot in November’s last eight. Britain, meanwhile, is one step closer to reaching the same destination after a 2-1 win over France in Innsbruck. Dan Evans bettered Adrian Mannarino 7-5, 6-4, and Cameron Norrie brushed aside Arthur Rinderknech 6-2, 7-6 (7/4). Joe Salisbury and Neal Skupski beat Nicolas Mahut and Lorenzo Sonego 6-7 (3/7), 6-3, 6-1 in the doubles to recover the away point.
Britain can seal a last-eight berth if they win their remaining matches against the pointless Czech Republic on Sunday and France. They are also in pole position if they can win either of their final two ties against Italy.
Djokovic has urged the International Tennis Federation to sit down with players and discuss changes to the historic team competition, which is affected by the rift between it and Kosmos after the Russian company pulled out of their partnership in 2018. The world number one believes that action needs to be taken to protect the event which started in 1900.