Tuesday, 2 November 2010

Davis Cup dominates Djokovic

Novak Djokovic cannot keep dreams of an historic Serbian Davis Cup final far from his mind despite facing an important title defence at the Swiss Indoors.

Even while training for a first-round ATP opener against former junior rival Ernests Gulbis of Latvia, the world number three and second seed was thinking ahead to December 3-5 in Belgrade, when France come to town for the final.

A victory would be a first for the Serbs, who a decade ago were not even a blip on the tennis radar.

"This is a bit opportunity that you don't experience it many times in your life," said Djokovic, who followed up his US Open final against Rafael Nadal with a second consecutive title in Beijing last month and a Shanghai Masters semi-final against Roger Federer.

"We really want to win that Davis Cup final."

The 2008 Australian Open champion called the goal "my priority for this year."

The 23-year-old is also the only one among the men's top four to have consistently fronted up for Davis duties as Nadal, Federer and Scot Andy Murray pick and choose their national commitments.

"I've played every tie for last couple of years," said Djokovic. "Playing for your country is a different feeling than in any other event. It's the only occasion where you can feel the team spirit and proudly represent your country."

"We (Serbia) have something really special, great friendships off the court and the atmosphere which gives us a lot of success."

Djokovic will have only a month off between the end of the Davis final and the start of the Hopman Cup in Perth which begins his season on January 1.

"My main goal and ambition is to win the Davis Cup," Djokovic said unequivocally.

"It's like that for all of our players. Our country didn't have such a long tennis tradition until two or three years ago.

"Now we've had some big success and now the fans live for tennis."

Djokovic added that the Serbian crowd violence last month in Genoa which led to a Euro 2012 qualifying match being called off only a few minutes into the game with the win later awarded to Italy, would not impact the tennis.

"You can't compare football with any Davis Cup crowd. This is a different crowd, a different culture. It's too bad that the whole country has to suffer because of some individuals.

"Belgrade is absolutely safe, one of nicest cities in Europe. We're expecting 20,000 fans every day for the final, It will be necessary for us to have that kind of support."

Courtesy: AFP

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