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Serbia motivated by 2019 Davis Cup heartbreak, says Djokovic

Serbia motivated by 2019 Davis Cup heartbreak, says Djokovic

Novak Djokovic

FILE–Serbia’s Novak Djokovic communicate to the group after profitable in opposition to France’s Gael Monfils throughout the Davis Cup tennis match finals. AFP PHOTO / ANDREJ ISAKOVIC (Picture by ANDREJ ISAKOVIC / AFP)

World primary Novak Djokovic says Serbia will use the bitter reminiscence of their Davis Cup Finals defeat in 2019 as motivation to carry the trophy for a second time this 12 months.

On the inaugural Davis Cup Finals in Madrid two years in the past Serbia have been knocked out within the quarterfinals after Viktor Troicki and Djokovic misplaced a deciding doubles rubber to Russia.

They really had three match factors and on the final one Troicki poked a routine volley out as he succumbed to nerves and within the post-match information convention he broke down.

Serbia are drawn in Group F with Austria and Germany — each of whom are lacking their high gamers — and will probably be fancied to succeed in the knockout section.

“It’s nice to be again with the Davis Cup group,” Djokovic instructed a information convention forward of Friday’s opening round-robin tie in opposition to Austria in Innsbruck, considered one of three host venues for the 18-nation Finals being staged over 11 days.

“The final reminiscence was a tragic one, we have been all very emotional, however nonetheless we have been motivated to come back again collectively and provides it one other go so right here we’re as soon as once more collectively once more.

“We’re all associates and the chemistry within the group is superb. That’s an important ingredient for fulfillment.”

Troicki, who gained the purpose to safe a Djokovic-inspired Serbia victory over France within the 2010 last in Belgrade, is now the captain whereas Djokovic’s group mates are Filip Krajinovic, Dusan Lajovic, Laslo Djere and Miomir Kecmanovic.

In regular circumstances they might have obtained vocal backing from Austria’s massive Serb inhabitants however the OlympiaHalle will probably be silent after Austria declared a nationwide lockdown to stem rising COVID-19 infections.

It means all of the ties in Group F and Group C will probably be performed with none followers current — a bitter blow to the occasion which was cancelled final 12 months due to the pandemic.

Whereas unhappy that the vitality of the followers will probably be lacking, Djokovic helps the multi-city staging of the Davis Cup Finals, with major hosts Madrid additionally being joined by Turin.

In 2019 the entire occasion was staged in Madrid after the Worldwide Tennis Federation’s (ITF) controversial revamp of the group competitors which had historically concerned dwelling and away ties performed throughout a number of rounds by means of the 12 months.

“The Davis Cup must be skilled by extra folks. So I’m in favour of this 12 months’s format and that there are extra international locations that may host group ties,” Djokovic mentioned.

“I didn’t assume the format labored very effectively two years in the past.”

Britain’s captain Leon Smith, whose aspect will play their Group C ties in Innsbruck, mentioned he wished extra open dialogue with the ITF and companions Kosmos Tennis, concerning the format of the Davis Cup going ahead.

“I’m listening to that some issues is likely to be taking place subsequent 12 months, however solely listening to it second hand,” he mentioned. “It might be good to speak about it earlier than choices are made.”

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