Rafael Nadal secured a come-back victory against Australia’s Alex De Minaur at the ATP Cup in Sydney on Saturday, propelling Spain into the final of the inaugural event to play the Novak Djokovic-led Serbian team.
The world’s top ranked player was ambushed early by the young Australian, who threatened to run away with the match, before the Spaniard recovered to win 4-6 7-5 6-1.
Earlier in the evening, Roberto Bautista Agut played a near flawless match to defeat a misfiring Nick Kyrgios 6-1 6-4, giving Spain an unassailable lead going into the doubles match.
In the other semi-final, Djokovic played strong tactical tennis to overcome the enigmatic Russian Daniil Medvedev, to secure Serbia’s spot in the final.
The Serbian won the contest 6-1 5-7 6-4 after he found success pushing the 198cm tall Russian around the court, forcing Medvedev to constantly scrape shots off his shoe laces.
Earlier, Serbia’s Dusan Lajovic beat his more highly ranked opponent, Russia’s Karen Khachanov, giving Serbia an unassailable 2-0 lead going into the doubles match.
Spain will have an opportunity in Sunday’s final against Serbia to confirm it has the world’s best men’s tennis team, having recently won the revamped Davis Cup and boasting two top 10 players in its ATP Cup side.