Following Novak Djokovic's heroics in the fourth rubber, Viktor Troicki helped cement Serbia's spot in the Davis Cup quarterfinals with a swift straight sets win over Kazakhstan's Aleksandr Nedovyesov.
Troicki Pounces on Nedovyesov Early
The crowd was eager for a good start from the home side, after sitting through an exhausting five set thriller between Novak Djokovic and Mikhail Kukushkin. Troicki started strong as both players held serve over the first two games. In the third game, Troicki wobbled briefly as Nedovyesov would see a break point. Unlike his first rubber in this tie, Troicki was up to the task in saving the break points on this night. He held to 2-1 and would catch the Kazakh flat on his own serve in the sixth game for a break to 4-2. Troicki continued his strong serving in the next game and secured a third break of serve to close out the set 6-2. Nedovyesov would win just 11 of 20 service points in the set and scatter 16 unforced errors. Troicki had 13 unforced errors of his own, but won 17 of 24 service points as his key advantage to a good start.
Nedovyesov Can't Find His Service Rhythm
A constant theme in this fifth rubber was Nedovyesov falling behind on serve. In the second set, the Kazakh held at-love in the second game, but had nothing but struggles after that. In the fourth game, he would find himself up against a pair of break points. Troicki would convert the second and find himself out to a comfortable 4-1 lead after consolidating the break. Nedovyesov continued with his service problems in the next game as the Serb again saw a pair of break chances. Troicki would again cash in on the second chance to roll out to a 5-1 lead. He would briefly stumble by giving a break back in the next game, but would recover two games later as he served out the set at 6-3.
Troicki was a rock on his first serve in the set, winning 10 of 11 points. Despite being forced to put 13 second serves in play, the Serb did manage to win seven points. Nedovyesov would only win 16 of the 30 points played on his serve in the set. Both players again flowed with unforced errors with the Kazakh tossing out 18 and the Serb tallying 15.
Troicki Saves Four Break Points, Takes the Third
The third set opened with the crowd ready for the end of the tie. Nedovyesov again was having major issues on his serve. He would face three break points right off the bat in the opening game of the set. This time, the Kazakh was able to hold them all off. Troicki nearly found himself trailing for the first time as he let the Kazakh see a pair of break chances in the next game. As he had done for the majority of the match, Troicki was strong and saved both break points. The pressure continued on Nedovyesov in the next game with the Kazakh cracking to hand the Serb a 2-1 lead to the pleasure of the crowd at Pionir Hall. Service holds would be the name of the game until the 10th game of the set with Troicki serving to send Serbia to the quarterfinals.
The Serb felt the pressure as he found himself against a break point after he had reeled off three fairly clean service holds. He would save the break chance, but find himself right back in that spot two points later. Again, Troicki fought it off and then sent the crowd into a frenzy as he converted on his first match point to complete the 6-2, 6-3, 6-4 win that handed Serbia the 3-2 win over a feisty group from Kazakhstan.
Following the match, Troicki was relieved with the win. He acknowledged that Djokovic was the real hero of the day, "It may have looked easy as I won in straight sets, but it wasn’t. I have to congratulate Novak first for a heroic effort. He definitely deserves all the credit and I am glad that I played my part."
The Serbs will not host Great Britain in July in the Davis Cup quarterfinals. Great Britain escaped on Sunday with the victory over Japan after Andy Murray clipped Kei Nishikori in five sets.