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Sinner ends Djokovic win streak to send Italy into Davis Cup final

MALAGA, Spain, November 29 ------ Italy returned to the Davis Cup final after a gap of 25 years as Jannik Sinner beat Novak Djokovic in both singles and doubles to secure a 2-1 victory over Serbia that earned the 1976 champions a title clash with Australia. Sinner and doubles partner Lorenzo Sonego beat the Serbian duo of Djokovic and Miomir Kecmanovic, 6-3, 6-4, to secure a famous victory that sent the former champions packing and sparked wild celebrations at a heaving Martin Carpena Arena in Spain. Up next for Filippo Volandri’s side, who will be playing in an eighth final and seeking a second trophy, are 28-times champion Australia after Lleyton Hewitt’s team eased past giant-killers Finland.

Sinner earlier saved three matchpoints to stun Djokovic, 6-2, 2-6, 7-5, in an extraordinary singles match to help Italy draw level with Serbia at 1-1 after Kecmanovic had put the 2010 champions ahead by beating Lorenzo Musetti, 6-7 (7), 6-2, 6-1. Sinner was facing Djokovic for the third time in 11 days and the world No. 1, who beat the top-ranked Serbian early in the ATP Finals before losing to him in the title clash, made a quick start to ease through the opening set with two breaks. The 22-year-old, who had sparked Italy’s comeback in their quarterfinal against the Netherlands, took his foot off the gas in the next set to allow Djokovic back in but kept chipping away in the hope of sealing a second win over him in six meetings. He saved three matchpoints from 0-40 at 4-5 in the decider and then broke Djokovic for a 6-5 lead before holding his nerve to make a forehand pass and pull off one of the most remarkable wins of his career amid deafening cheers.

Sinner snapped Djokovic’s 21-match winning streak. “It was for sure the game-changer today,” Sinner said of his singles heroics at 4-5. “I just tried to push in every single point and the 0-40 game helped the confidence and also after I broke him. It’s all part of tennis. “Obviously playing doubles in the decider of a Davis Cup tie is not easy. There’s a lot of pressure, I think we both handled it really well. We are a very complete team and each one of us is really happy to be here.”



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