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Double delight for Djokovic as Serbia seal progression

Serbia are through to the quarter-finals of the ATP Cup, with Novak Djokovic leading them to a comeback win over France.

Novak Djokovic inspired a comeback for Serbia as they defeated France 2-1 to seal a place in the ATP Cup quarter-finals.

Djokovic’s compatriot Dusan Lajovic lost the opening singles rubber in Brisbane, but the world number two ensured Serbia will progress from Group A.

Motivated and frustrated by a passionate crowd in Serbia’s opening tie with South Africa, Djokovic thrived in front of passionate support and made light work of Gael Monfils to level matters, dispatching him 6-3 6-2 to improve his record in their head to head to 16-0.

He and Viktor Troicki then required a match tie-break to see off Nicolas Mahut and Edouard Roger-Vasselin 6-3 6-7 (5-7) 10-3 and seal victory, delighting fans that stayed into the early hours in Brisbane.

“We love playing for our country,” Djokovic said in his on-court interview. “Thanks to the people for staying to almost 1am to support us. You guys are true tennis fans.”

US Open champion Rafael Nadal was not required for double duty in Spain’s tie with Uruguay in Perth, which saw him hammer Pablo Cuevas 6-2 6-1 to give his country an unassailable lead.

Earlier Roberto Bautista Agut hammered Franco Roncadelli, with Pablo Carreno Busta and Feliciano Lopez rounding off the tie with a dead rubber doubles win over Ariel Behar and Juan Martin Fumeaux.

Dominic Thiem defeated Diego Schwartzman in straight sets as Austria beat Argentina 3-0 to claim their first win of the inaugural tournament, while Croatia and Japan remain undefeated after 2-1 victories over Poland and Georgia respectively.

South Africa got off the mark with a 3-0 beating of Chile, Kevin Anderson claiming his first win since Wimbledon following a long lay-off with a knee injury as he eased to a 6-0 6-3 triumph against Cristian Garin.

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