Despite battling a wrist injury, Novak Djokovic clinched a hard-fought victory against Jiri Lehecka in the United Cup, bringing Serbia level with the Czech Republic.
The match, part of a $10 million mixed team event, ended with Djokovic securing a 6-1, 6-7(3), 6-1 win. Despite the discomfort in his right wrist observed during practice, Djokovic persevered, even taking a medical timeout before the third set. His resilience paid off as he dominated the final set, establishing a 5-0 lead before securing the win.
Following the match, the 36-year-old tennis icon acknowledged his wrist soreness but remained optimistic, stating, “These things happen. You have to manage and find a solution.”
Djokovic is now gearing up for the Australian Open Grand Slam at Melbourne Park, where he aims to clinch his 11th title. However, due to his wrist condition, he was replaced by Hamad Medjedovic in the deciding mixed doubles match, originally scheduled to partner with Olga Danilovic.
The United Cup saw other notable matches, with Wimbledon champion Marketa Vondrousova giving the Czech Republic an initial lead over Serbia. In another surprising result, Greece, led by Maria Sakkari and Stefanos Tsitsipas, was defeated by Chile in Group B’s opening match.
The mixed doubles decider saw the Greek team losing to Daniela Seguel and Tomas Barrios Vera. Despite Sakkari’s earlier win against Seguel and Chile’s Jarry beating Stefanos Sakellaridis, Greece chose not to field Tsitsipas in the singles, ultimately leading to their defeat.