Wednesday, December 1, 2021

Djokovic lifts Serbia in Davis Cup; Konta retires at 30

Novak Djokovic and Serbia will face Croatia in the semifinals of the Davis Cup Finals
in Madrid. 2017 photo by Mal Taam
   Novak Djokovic won in singles and doubles to give Serbia a 2-1 victory over Kazakhstan today in the quarterfinals of the Davis Cup Finals in Madrid.
   Djokovic, ranked No. 1, outclassed Alexander Bublik 6-3, 6-4 to pull Serbia even at 1-1, then teamed with Nikola Cacic in a 6-2, 2-6, 6-3 victory over Andrey Golubev and Aleksandr Nedovyesov. 
   In the opening match, 33-year-old Mikhail Kukushkin edged 22-year-old Miomir Kecmanovic 7-6 (5), 4-6, 7-6 (11) in 3 hours, 17 minutes. Kecmanovic, a semifinalist in the 2018 San Francisco Challenger at age 18, served for the match in the third set.
   Bublik and Kukushkin reached the final of the Aptos Challenger in Northern California in different years. The 6-foot-5 (1.96-meter) Bublik won the title at age 20 in 2017, beating Liam Broady of Great Britain, and Kukushkin lost to Marcos Baghdatis of Cyprus in 2014.
   Serbia, the 2010 champion, will face 2018 titlist Croatia, featuring top-ranked doubles pair Nikola Mektic and Mate Pavic, on Friday in Madrid.
   In the other semifinal in Madrid, Germany will play the winner of Thursday's tie between the Russian Tennis Federation, with second-ranked Daniil Medvedev and fifth-ranked Andrey Rublev, and Sweden, including Andre Goransson (University of California, Berkeley, 2014-17) on Saturday.
   WTA — Johanna Konta of Great Britain announced her retirement at 30. Konta won four WTA singles titles, including the 2016 Bank of the West Classic at Stanford, and peaked at No. 4 in 2017.
   Juniors — Wild card Michael Zheng, a Stanford commit from Montville, N.J., defeated No. 15 seed Gerard Lee of South Korea 7-6 (3), 6-2 in the second round of the boys 18-and-under division in the Eddie Herr International Championships in Bradenton, Fla.
   Zheng also advanced to the doubles quarterfinals, teaming with Benjamin Kittay of Potomac, Md., to edge No. 7 seeds Bor Artnak and Sebastian Dominko of Slovenia 7-6 (5), 4-6 [11-9].
   In the second round of girls 18 singles, Mao Mushika of Japan eliminated No. 14 seed Alexis Blokhina, a Stanford commit from Fort Lauderdale, Fla., 6-0, 1-0, retired.
   Wild card Rudy Quan of Sacramento, Calif., and No. 3 seed Kristina Penickova of Campbell, Calif., reached the singles quarterfinals in the boys 16s and girls 12s, respectively.

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