'Alexander Zverev and I pushed each other to the limits,' Novak Djokovic said
Novak defeated Alexander 6-7, 6-2, 7-5 in two hours and 33 minutes, earning his fifth victory over the German in seven matches. Djokovic fired 29 winners and 27 unforced errors, serving well and scoring four breaks to emerge at the top.
Nothing could separate them in the opening set, as they produced 12 easy holds to reach a tie break. Zverev landed an ace at 6-3 to grab the set, looking good to challenge Djokovic in again set number and wrap up the victory for his country.
Novak took charge in set number two and grabbed a break at 4-4 in the decider to serve for the win. Zverev saved a match point in that tenth game to prolong the set before hitting a double fault in the next game to hand another break to Novak, who made no mistakes in the 12th game.
"Unfortunately, we lost the tie; that's what this competition is all about. It's about the team, not about winning one singles match. We'll try another time. Alexander and I played a great match; he served terrific in both singles and doubles today. He was a set in front, and I just returned well when I needed to and closed out the match. We both got very tight in the last three games.
He dropped his serve twice, and I did that once, alongside that wasted match point. I came back in the 12th game, it was a close one. I was 30-15 down and hit a big serve, almost 200km/h to his forehand. He was serving tremendously well, with big second serves. It's never easy playing against Sascha when he's in form, and he's in excellent form. We pushed each other to the very limit, and I'm glad that I had such a battle with him," Novak Djokovic said.