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Live coverage: Injured Djokovic beats Querrey; Serbia wins tie 3-1


Here’s the point where Djokovic got hurt.

Novak Djokovic appeared to twist his right ankle in the first set (Chris Butler / Idaho Statesman)

Novak Djokovic appeared to twist his right ankle in the first set (Chris Butler / Idaho Statesman)

Djokovic returned after getting help from the Serbia trainer.

Djokovic returned after getting help from the Serbia trainer. (Chris Butler / Idaho Statesman)

By Chadd Cripe
ccripe@idahostatesman.com
© 2013 Idaho Statesman

Serbia has won the Davis Cup quarterfinal tie at Taco Bell Arena, 3-1.

Novak Djokovic beat Sam Querrey in four sets Sunday to clinch it.

Djokovic, who was injured early in the match, won 7-5, 6-7 (4), 6-1, 6-0.

“I’m very happy I managed to play the whole match and play really well in the third and fourth,” Djokovic said in his on-court interview. “Sam played well for two sets. … He struggled with his serve. He had problems with his shoulder. I’m sorry for Team USA, but it was a thrilling weekend for all of us and thank you all for coming and watching.”

Djokovic said he doesn’t know the exact nature of his ankle injury.

“I sincerely hope that I didn’t make it worse,” he said. “I’m going to have a few days off and see how that goes. I have to go back to Europe and play on clay. I never twisted my ankle in this way. … I managed to play some good shots at the right time. If I wasn’t playing for Serbia, I don’t know if I would go all the way. … The first half an hour, it was really painful.”

Querrey injured a pectoral muscle in the second set and it clearly affected his serving. He had six aces in the first set and one thereafter.

Djokovic, who made 10 unforced errors in his first match, had 43 against Querrey but only seven in the last two sets.

Serbia will face Canada or Italy in the semifinals in September.

•••

Some press conference quotes:

Djokovic on his injury: “The nature of the injury is still to be determined. One hour, one hour and a half later, all I can say now is it doesn’t look good. … I was just thinking about winning this match and bringing the tie to Serbia and I’m glad I did. On the other hand, I’m a bit concerned definitely. It’s not a comfortable feeling what I feel right now with an ankle.”

Djokovic on the win: “I’m very happy, very emotional, about the win today. It meant a lot to me today personally and it meant a lot to the whole team.”

Djokovic on Querrey’s injury: “It definitely made a difference in the match. … When I saw that he wasn’t going for the serve as much as he was in the first two sets, that psychologically helped me to step into the court and take control over most rallies. It was much easier for me to return. His first serve was averaging around 130 (mph) the first two sets. After that it was 110-115. That’s a big difference. It made my return games much easier and better.”

Querrey on his injury: “It hurt on my serve. I wasn’t able to get my usual pop and that’s tough when you’re playing against the best player in the world. … He was starting to become a great frontrunner at that point. It made it tougher on me.”

Querrey on Djokovic’s injury: “He was still able to move at a very high level and still able to serve well. Once the blood started flowing down there, I don’t think it altered his game too much.”

Querrey: “The whole week has been great. We had an unbelievable five or six days of practice. We fought hard in the tie. The venue was amazing. The city is great. So I thought everything was perfect. We have no complaints. I thought the fans did a great job coming out and cheering. Boise is a great tennis town. Hopefully we can have another tie here one day.”

U.S. captain Jim Courier: “Novak is such a complete tennis player. We’ve seen him grow over the years not only game-wise but mentally. He’s got a lot of that positive to draw from from over the years from the matches he’s won when he’s been pushed to the brink. So today was an example of him drawing on that experience and energy when he had the ankle issue. The reality of the matchup changes. If Novak twists his ankle, he goes from being the absolute best mover in the world to being just one of the great movers on the tour. You take away his ability to maybe slide to the forehand, but nothing else changed. So it’s (diminished), the change, realistically, from a tactical change on our side. So Sam didn’t need to make any changes. He just needed to execute how he was going to execute all along. You take away Sam’s serve, that is a different change. That would be like stripping Novak of his movement. That’s one of Sam’s two big key weapons. His serve went from 130 to barely over 100 at times just because he couldn’t get it there because of his pec. So that was a tough tactical matchup for us in the end.”

•••

Djokovic, the world No. 1, injured his right leg during a long point in the third game of the match.

The match continued after an 8-minute delay and Djokovic quickly completed a break of Querrey’s serve for a 2-1 lead.

However, Querrey broke back to make it 3-all and started to make Djokovic run. Djokovic was going for some quick winners and turned error-prone.

Djokovic took a 6-5 lead when Querrey made an error with his forehand on a break point. Querrey got three break chances in the following game but couldn’t win one. Djokovic eventually held to win the first set 7-5.

Querrey won the second set 7-6. He led the tiebreaker 5-4 when Djokovic appeared to hit a forehand wide. The ball was called in and Querrey challenged. The electronic review showed the ball was just out.

Djokovic hit a forehand in the net on the next point to give Querrey a 7-4 win.

Djokovic dominated the third set for a 6-1 win. He broke Querrey in the second and sixth games for a two sets to one advantage.

The fourth set was even more dominant. Djokovic broke Querrey three straight times and won it 6-0. Querrey won six points in the first five games.

Click below for a replay of our live coverage:

•••

Djokovic wasn’t even able to walk to the bench on his own power after the injury.

Djokovic was injured at 15-40 while running from sideline to sideline chasing down shots. He hit a forehand into the net and crumpled to the court, with his head in his hands.

The crowd chanted, “Novak! Novak!” as he went to the bench and again as he returned to the court.

•••

If Querrey had won, the tie would have come down to No. 23 John Isner vs. No. 44 Viktor Troicki.

That match was canceled because of a fairly new Davis Cup rule. If the tie ends in the fourth match and that match lasts at least four sets, the teams can opt to skip the fifth match.

•••


The Bryan brothers address the media after Saturday’s loss.

U.S. doubles team Bob Bryan and Mike Bryan received the Davis Cup commitment award on the court before Sunday’s matches — a tribute to their long-standing commitment to play in these ties. They are 20-4 as a doubles team in Davis Cup.

They lost in five sets Saturday, 7-6, 7-6, 5-7, 4-6, 15-13. It was by far the longest doubles match by games for the U.S. since the introduction of the tiebreaker in 1989.

“I apologize we didn’t get it done yesterday, but it was a lot of fun playing in front of you guys,” Bob told the crowd. “You guys brought the energy all day. We’re going to look forward to being on the sidelines like you guys for these next matches and let’s get it done.”

Added Mike: “We’re very lucky to play for our country. Yesterday was another great moment in our career. You guys really brought the noise. I know you’re going to bring it today. So let’s do it.”

Among the previous American winners of the commitment award are John McEnroe, Andre Agassi and Andy Roddick.


Chadd Cripe has spent the past 12 years as the Boise State football beat writer. You can follow him on Twitter @IDS_BroncoBeat.

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