However the match, and the tie, dramatically swung back in Spain's favour at 5-5 in the second set when Nadal and Carreno Busta eked out a rare break point. "This is a team competition", Nadal said, referring to the best-of-three match format, adding that Spain has always put the team above the individual. He raised both arms to celebrate, nearly an early victory. The interruption broke his concentration, and Shapovalov hit back to even the match up again.
Djokovic stopped World No. 5 Daniil Medvedev of Russia 6-1, 5-7, 6-4 to lift Serbia, which downed the powerful Russians 3-0. The Serbians will meet Spain in Sunday's final, the first in this new 24-team worldwide event.
"It was exciting, tiring, joyful, bad at the same time", said Djokovic when asked about the competition after the game.
Now de Minaur had to find all his speed and variety of shot against world No1 Rafael Nadal, a man who had won 32 consecutive matches played for Spain-until the quarter-finals.
He beat higher-ranked players Alexander Zverev and Denis Shapovalov, but lost one of the matches of the tournament against Dan Evans of GB in the quarters.
Dusan Lajovic beat Karen Khachanov 7-5, 7-6 (7-1) in the opening singles, clinching the first set with the only break-point chance of the match, and allowing Djokovic some breathing room in the second singles encounter. It gave Spain an insurmountable 2-0 advantage against host country Australia.
The WorldNo 2 controlled from the beginning, placing Nadal on the protective with his return as well as specifically throughout backhand-to-forehand rallies as Nadal had a hard time to equal theSerbian When the Spaniard was resolved know protection, Djokovic would certainly supply a decline fired that would certainly leave the WorldNo 1 reeling. Djokovic, warming up for his bid to win an eighth Australian Open crown this month, went into the clash at Sydney's Ken Rosewall Arena leading their head-to-heads 28-26. The vocal, pro-Serbia crowd sang and chanted "Nole, Nole, Nole" and hooted, hollered and whistled. Djokovic's serve held firm for the remainder, which ended when the Russian netted a groundstroke.
Djokovic faced Shapovalov four times a year ago and won each match comfortably. Now he was making Djokovic get into long, baseline rallies.
Fifth-ranked Medvedev, who led the tour with 59 overall wins last season, went 3-0 in the group stage in Perth and then fended off Argentina's Diego Schwartzman in a tempestuous quarterfinal. The fact Nadal and Djokovic are there for Spain and Serbia, respectively, makes it special.
Wary of the obvious threat posed by Djokovic and Serbia in the final, Nadal said on court: "It's going to be a super tough final against Serbia".
But Nadal had no answer to the brilliance coming from De Minaur in the first set.