Novak Djokovic was left “really badly” hurt after he missed out on a possible meeting with Rafael Nadal’s Spain after Serbia slipped to a 2-1 Davis Cup quarter-final defeat in Madrid.
The 16-time Grand Slam champion alongside Viktor Troicki failed to capitalise on three match points as Andrey Rublev and Karen Khachanov rallied to win in the deciding doubles.
Russia will now face Canada in the last-four, with Djokovic and Troicki failing to build on the latter’s win over Khachanov after Rublev saw off Filip Krajinovic.
“It hurts, it hurts us really badly,” Djokovic said.
The 33-year-old was left emotional by the retirement of 35-year-old Janko Tipsarevic, who missed out on the chance to have a spectacular send off.
Djokovic added: “At the end, you win as a team and you lose as a team.
“It doesn’t matter if somebody wins two matches and you end up losing the match,” he said as the tears began to flow.
“It was very emotional because it’s Janko’s last….sorry.”
Novak Djokovic was left in tears after Serbia’s Davis Cup exit
Russia beat Serbia 2-1 to reach the Davis Cup semi-finals
Tipsarevic had his own say on the result after his team-mates tears, as the media began to clap.
“I will be very short,” he said.
“It’s not the wins or the losses, it’s that this beautiful sport makes you tough.
“This emotion that you want to commit suicide after a day like this.
“You go towards and against the wind. These emotions are the things I can draw from tese 20 years.”
Troicki, who played poorly alongside the reigning Wimbledon champion, described the match as the worst moment of his career.
“I probably feel the worst ever. I never experienced such a moment in my career,” he said.
“I let my team down and I apologise to them. We were up in the tiebreak. We had chances to finish it. We didn’t do it. I messed up in the crucial moments.”