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Djokovic pumped about Davis Cup

Updated: 2013-11-15 07:43
By Reuters in Belgrade ( China Daily)

Winning a second Davis Cup title with Serbia would cap a fantastic end to the season for Novak Djokovic and provide a springboard for restoring his supremacy on the ATP Tour, the world No 2 said on Wednesday.

Fresh from winning 22 straight matches and four tournaments after losing September's US Open final to Rafa Nadal, who also wrestled the No 1 spot away from Djokovic this season, the 26-year-old Serb is looking forward to this weekend's final against the defending champion, Czech Republic.

"I haven't had much time to recuperate from winning the ATP event in London, but I can't complain because I have been in terrific form in the last two months," Djokovic told a news conference in the imposing Kombank Arena on Wednesday.

"The winning streak has given me extra confidence to help my country repeat the 2010 feat, which has a very special place in our hearts.

"Beating France in that final meant the world to every one of us on the Davis Cup team and there is no doubt that emulating the success would give me the impetus to achieve my personal goals in 2014, which is to return to the pinnacle and win as many Grand Slams as I can.

"The semifinal win over Canada this term put the wind in my sails for the home stretch on the ATP tour after some tough Grand Slam defeats to Nadal at Roland Garros and the US Open as well as against Andy Murray at Wimbledon."

Djokovic pumped about Davis Cup

With the backing of a 15,000-strong home crowd, Serbia is favored to repeat its 2010 success, but faces a difficult task against a well-balanced Czech team.

The Serbs will be without Viktor Troicki, who is suspended for missing a blood test, while Janko Tipsarevic is doubtful with a foot injury.

Tipsarevic faces a race against time to be fit for the opening singles on Friday as he tries to shake off a heel problem, but Djokovic is confident Serbia has enough depth to vanquish the Czechs.

"It will probably go down to the wire as it is a contest between two young and success-hungry teams and hopefully the experience of winning the 2010 title and the unity it created can help us win again," Djokovic said.

"It would be another Davis Cup fairy tale for us and I really think this competition is not getting as much credit as it deserves because it's the equivalent of the soccer World Cup as a top-level team event.

"It would help if it was played every two years - that is apparently what most players on tour want - but the current format is deeply rooted in the event's long history and tradition."

Eager to erase the memories of a 3-2 semifinal defeat at the same venue in 2010, the Czechs are hopeful of becoming the first nation to retain the title after Spain enjoyed back-to-back triumphs in 2008 and 2009.

But it will be a daunting task.

"Despite Serbia's problems, they are the favorite because of the home-court advantage and we know that we will have to work extremely hard to come out on top," said Tomas Berdych, the Czech world No 7.

"The good thing is that this is a team event, so losing to Djokovic is not the end of the road as we need to win three out of five contests to keep the trophy in our hands.

"It has been a long season but I am sure that many top players who are already on holiday would love to trade places with us and be here."

(China Daily 11/15/2013 page23)

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