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2013 Davis Cup Final Czech Republic/Serbia - The Draw Ceremony

Posted on November 14, 2013 at 4:00 PM




Tomas Berdych  arrives on court to play against Spain's David Ferrer during their group A singles match in the round robin stage on the third day of the ATP World Tour Finals tennis tournament in London on November 6, 2013.




Djokovic to face Stepanek in Davis Cup opener


Thursday, November 14, 2013


By DUSAN STOJANOVIC | Associated Press


BELGRADE, Serbia -  With Serbia hit by injuries and suspensions, Novak Djokovic will carry the burden for his country when it plays defending champion Czech Republic in the Davis Cup final.


The second-ranked Djokovic is on a 22-match unbeaten run, and now must do what he has done numerous times before - win both singles matches to give the Serbs a chance in the best-of-five series starting Friday.


On Thursday, Serbia's Janko Tipsarevic was ruled out of the final with a heel injury. Countryman Viktor Troicki, the star of the 2010 Davis Cup home victory over France, is out because of a 12-month suspension for skipping a blood test in April.


Thursday's draw pitted Djokovic against Radek Stepanek. Also, Tipsarevic's replacement, Dusan Lajovic, will play Tomas Berdych in Friday's opening singles. The doubles are Saturday and reverse singles are Sunday.


"It's a real drawback for our team that we don't have both Janko and Viktor," Djokovic said. "I hope that I can win the first match, the first point is very important as it could release pressure on Lajovic."


The 117th-ranked Lajovic has played only once in the Davis Cup, and has no major victories against top players on the ATP Tour.


"I'm very excited that I'll play on Friday," the 23-year-old Lajovic said. "With the support of the crowd, I could maybe surprise Berdych."


Berdych said he has never watched Lajovic play and will try to adjust to his game.


"I will do some scouting before the match," Berdych said. "It is good that this is a best-of-five match and I'll have time to adjust."


Berdych, who has a 13-1 record in Davis Cup doubles with Stepanek, predicted the doubles will decide the winner. Djokovic said that although he has not played many doubles matches in recent years, he would be ready on Saturday if needed.


First, though, he has to focus on the match against Stepanek before deciding whether he would play all three matches in the final.


"Stepanek is a very tricky player," Djokovic said. "He likes to rush to the net and change rhythm of the match."


Stepanek said the fact that he's not favored to win against Djokovic may help him.


"I'm looking forward to it," Stepanek said. "My advantage is that no one expects me to beat Novak."


Djokovic has won his last four tournaments, including the ATP Finals in London, where he beat top-ranked Rafael Nadal 6-3, 6-4 in the final Monday.


The Czechs are in the final for the third time in five years.










The Czech Republic Davis Cup team members, from left: Jan Hajek, Radek Stepanek, Lukas Rosol, Tomas Berdych and team captain Vladimir Safarik attend the Davis Cup final draw ceremony, in Belgrade, Serbia, Thursday, Nov. 14, 2013.














The Czech Republic Davis Cup team members, from left: Jan Hajek, Lukas Rosol, Radek Stepanek, Vladimir Safarik, team captain, and Tomas Berdych pose with Davis Cup trophy during the Davis Cup final draw ceremony, in Belgrade, Serbia, Thursday, Nov. 14, 2013.














Player of the Czech Republic team Tomas Berdych and team captain Vladimir Safarik smile during a draw ceremony prior to the Davis Cup final tennis match between the Serbia and Czech Republic on November 14, 2013 in Belgrade, Serbia.














Tomas Berdych and Novak Djokovic pose for a photographers during Davis Cup final draw ceremony, in Belgrade, Serbia, Thursday, Nov. 14, 2013.














Tomas Berdych attends the Davis Cup final draw ceremony, in Belgrade, Serbia, Thursday, Nov. 14, 2013.














Tomas Berdych attends the Davis Cup final draw ceremony, in Belgrade, Serbia, Thursday, Nov. 14, 2013.













 

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