Serbia’s Miomir Kecmanovic picked up a first Davis Cup win at the perfect time to seal victory for his country over Korea Republic in Group B of the Davis Cup by Rakuten Finals.
The 23-year-old Serbian overcame Kwon Soonwoo 6-3, 6-4 in just one hour 19 minutes in a performance that showed why he is a former junior world No. 1.
Kecmanovic suffered an agonising loss on debut against Mikhail Kukushkin in the 2021 Finals and despite playing superbly in Serbia’s opening tie in the 2022 edition of the competition he came up short against an inspired Roberto Bautista Agut.
Thursday was a different story. As is usual for a player with such an all-round game, Kecmanovic’s consistency meant he never allowed his opponent into the match. The Serbian took his only break point opportunity of the first set to go 5-3 up and then served out when the Korean fired a forehand wide of the mark.
Another error from the Kwon racket just moments later, saw Kecmanovic take an immediate break in the second set and he never looked back to secure the victory in straight sets.
“Definitely feels amazing that I was able to win without playing a tiebreak!” Kecmanovic joked after the match. “I’m really happy that I was able to finally win, give my team the win today.”
In the first match of the tie, Dusan Lajovic put Serbia 1-0 up with a 6-4, 6-0 victory over Hong Seong Chan.
The Serbian edged ahead early in the opening set with a break to move 2-1 up and kept his nose in front throughout. In fact, Lajovic could have got the job done quicker had Hong not played so well at key moments.
Lajovic was only able to convert four of 18 break point chances and rarely were those points lost by the Serbian, rather won by Hong.
Three of those breaks came in a one-sided second set, and so it was after one hour and 37 minutes that Lajovic clinched the match when Hong netted his return.
After the match Lajovic, who played and lost the doubles against Spain on Wednesday night, said: “It definitely wasn’t easy. We didn’t know who was going to play the singles. I went to bed at 4am. I didn’t sleep well.
“Obviously on paper I was favourite, but it’s not like that especially when the players are giving everything for their country.”
The Serbian, who lost to Croatia’s Borna Gojo in the 2021 Davis Cup semi-finals, added: “Last time I played, I felt like I disappointed my whole country. I’m happy to give the first point to Serbia.”
In the doubles, Nam Ji Sung and Song Min-Kyu defeated Nikola Cacic and Filip Krajinovic 6-4, 6-2. It was an important victory that gives them a glimmer of hope to progress to the Final 8.
Park Seung-Kyu’s men will be rooting for Team Canada in their tie with Spain tomorrow and then they will need to pull off a huge upset against the home side on Sunday.
Park said: “We’re going to take advantage of this atmosphere and we’re going to prepare well to have a winning game against Spain.”