Novak Djokovic told GB supporters to “calm down” after steering Serbia into the Davis Cup semi-finals with a 6-4 6-4 win over Britain’s Cameron Norrie to give his team a winning 2-0 lead on Thursday evening. The 36-year-old world No 1, looking to complete a remarkable year by helping his nation win the Davis Cup for the second time, was imperious as he outclassed Norrie. Djokovic lost his cool with some of the British fans as they tried to drown out his post-match interview, telling them to “show some respect”. “It’s always a great emotion to play for your country even if after a long season you are feeling it in the legs,” he added.
Serbia will face Italy on Saturday after Jannik Sinner inspired his team to a comeback win over the Netherlands, the world No 4 winning his singles and a decisive doubles. Britain, missing the injured Andy Murray and Dan Evans, had banked on Jack Draper winning the opening singles against Serbia’s Miomir Kecmanovic and their strong doubles partnership of Joe Salisbury and Neal Skupski.
That left Norrie needing to overcome record 24-time Grand Slam champion Djokovic for the first time in his career to keep the tie alive.
That never looked likely, however, as Djokovic, who won three of the year’s four Grand Slam titles and last week’s ATP Finals for a record seventh time, dissected the world No. 18.
A single break of serve was enough for Djokovic in the opening set, the Serb silencing the raucous British fans with the clinical brilliance of his tennis.
Norrie dropped serve early in the second set but hung on grimly as he attempted to stall Djokovic’s march to victory.
It was futile in the end, though, as Djokovic wrapped it up with a flurry of aces to keep Serbia on course for a repeat of their 2010 triumph when Djokovic and his team-mates famously shaved off their hair after victory over France in the final.
Earlier, in the Martin Carpena Arena which has seen big crowds for Final Eight, Italy kept alive their hopes of a first Davis Cup title since 1976.