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Serbia and Italy advance to Davis Cup semis, setting up another Djokovic vs. Sinner showdown

Serbia and Italy advanced to the Davis Cup semifinals by beating Great Britain and the Netherlands, respectively, on Thursday in Malaga, Spain. Serbia rolled to a 2-0 victory by winning both singles rubbers, while Italy came back from a 1-0 deficit to win 2-1 following success in the decisive doubles match.

The result is a showdown between Serbia and Italy on Saturday, and that means Novak Djokovic and Jannik Sinner will be facing each other for the third time in 11 days.

They just squared off twice at the Nitto ATP Finals, where Sinner prevailed in round-robin competition before Djokovic seized revenge in the title match. The 36-year-old Serb now leads the overall head-to-head series 4-1, with two his victories coming each of the past two seasons at Wimbledon.

Saturday’s battle promises to be another fun one, with both players in awesome form. Sinner rebounded from his Turin loss last weekend by beating Tallon Griekspoor 7-6(3), 6-1 on Thursday. The 22-year-old Italian then teamed up with Lorenzo Sonego to defeat Griekspoor and Wesley Koolhof in the doubles rubber.

Djokovic has still lost just one match since Wimbledon–to Sinner at the Nitto ATP Finals. The world No. 1 stayed hot following last weekend’s Turin triumph by taking care of Cameron Norrie 6-4, 6-4 on Thursday. That was preceded by Miomir Kecmanovic’s defeat of Jack Draper, so no doubles rubber was necessary to decide the Serbia-Great Britain tie.

With his win over Norrie, Djokovic extended his Davis Cup singles winning streak to 21 matches. He has not lost since 2011 when he retired against Argentina’s Juan Martin Del Potro in the semifinals. Djokovic Djokovic has not lost a completed singles match in the Davis Cup since 2009, when he fell to both David Ferrer and Rafael Nadal during Spain’s 4-1 victory over Serbia in the World Group opening round.

Ricky contributes to 10sballs.com and also maintains his own tennis website, The Grandstand. You can follow him on Twitter at @Dimonator.