Canada defended well, but lost 2-1 in their first ATP Cup group stage match against Serbia on Monday in Australia.
Milos Raonic got off to a good start when he beat Dusan Lajoviش in two sets, 6-3, 6-4, in his first singles match of the day. As per his habit, the brilliant tennis player used his destructive service to enforce the law.
The 30-year-old had 11 aces, versus just two for his opponent. Raonic didn’t put as many first balls into play as Lajovi (67% vs. 80%), but he made sure these balls counted, winning 91% of Raleigh on his first serve.
He took two breaks from his Serbian opponent, and was also dominant in the reception.
In the other singles match, Denis Shapovalov logically bowed to world number one Novak Djokovic in two identical rounds 7-5.
But the young Canadian gave his money to Djocare, who had to wait until the last match of each set to save himself with a broken serve. The Serbian mostly faced nine aces, although he was not able to produce one.
Despite his strong serving, Shabu faced six break points. Balls in hand, Djokovic gave the 21-year-old no chance to steal his serve.
In the decisive duel, doubles struggle, the duo defeated Raonic / Shapovalov against a pair of Djokovic and Philippe Krajinovi in two groups of 7-5 and 7-6 (4).
Serbs and Canadians have met in this competition before, just last year. With Quebecois Félix Auger-Aliassime, the maple leaf lost 3-0 against potential champions, in the quarter-finals.
This year, the ATP Cup will be held three weeks later than usual, due to the pandemic. The 2021 edition specifically allows players to prepare for the Australian Open. The competition is held at the facilities of the Grand Slam tournament.
Canada, in its second round match, will face Germany on Tuesday.