Novak did double duty on Day 1 in Melbourne to help Serbia defeat Canada 2-1 in Group A action at the ATP Cup.
World no.1 Novak Djokovic kicked off his 2021 season with a 7-5, 7-5 win over Denis Shapovalov at the ATP Cup on Tuesday.
The pressure was on Novak after Milos Raonic propelled Canada to a 1-0 lead with a comprehensive 6-3, 6-4 victory against Dusan Lajovic.
Novak had to triumph to give the defending champion Serbia a chance in the tie.
It was a highly-entertaining battle that lasted one hour and 53 minutes.
In both sets the Belgrade native made a crucial break in the 12th game, to draw Serbia level with Canada in Group A tie.
Djokovic won 80% of points behind his first serve and didn’t face a break point.
Match statistics: aces (1-9), double faults (3-4), winners (12-25), unforced errors (15-38), total points won (78-66).
“Denis is such a dynamic, explosive player, very talented. There’s a great future ahead of him, that’s for sure. I thought we both played at a very high level so I’m really pleased with the way I started the season,” Novak said.
In the deciding doubles match, Novak teamed up with Filip Krajinovic against Milos Raonic and Denis Shapovalov.
The Serbian duo won 7-5, 7-6 (4) to claim victory in the tie.
Serbia will next take on Germany. Novak will play Alexander Zverev on Friday about 12:30 local time (02:30 CET).