Djokovic Leads Serbia Against Czechs In Davis Cup Final This Weekend
by Staff | November 14th, 2013
  • 63 Comments

Novak Djokovic will lead his depleted Serbian team against the visiting Czech Republic in the Davis Cup finale this weekend in Belgrade. Djokovic, winner of his last 22 matches, will be absent of his two best teammates, Janko Tipsarevic and Viktor Troicki.

Tipsarevic bowed out of the tie with a heel injury while Troicki is still on suspension. But, Djokovic said, they’ll still have the vocal Serbian crowd on their side.

“The crowd support is very important, maybe crucial,” said Djokovic. “Not just in my match but in the match of Dusan Lajovic. The crowd is actually a key player in those matches. With their support, if’s the same as what we have had in previous years, then everything is possible.

The 23-year-old Lajovic, ranked 117th, will debut Friday on the hardcourts against Tomas Berdych while Djokovic faces Radek Stepanek in the opener.

“I would say it’s very exciting,” said Lajovic who went 0-4 in ATP play this year. “I have been feeling like this since I heard the news. I hope that this positive energy will lead me to play my best game on Friday. To play for your country in such an important match is incredible.

“From one side, Tomas will be the toughest player I have ever played. From the other side, maybe the good thing could be that he doesn’t know me so I might have some advantage in the opening games of the match. I just hope that I can give my best and try to surprise him.”

Serbia is seeking a second Davis Cup title this decade. The Czechs are looking for their second straight after beating Spain last year.

“There is no tougher cookie than this one, playing Novak in front of his own crowd after the run of form that he has had,” said Stepanek. “Definitely it’s a challenge but all I can do is try to play my best tennis and see where I can push him.

“I am ready to do no matter what it takes. If I have to be on the court five hours a day, this is my job. I’m here for the team and I’m here for my country to give everything.”

With the Czechs likely to pocket two singles wins over Lajovic, Djokovic is also expected to play doubles to avoid Lajovic from having to win a deciding fifth rubber.

“We know that Novak is playing the best tennis in the world so he is the one that is capable of winning three matches in this tie,” said Obradovic. “We have discussed playing him in the doubles if he is mentally and physically ready to play that. When you have him on the court, the Czech team will have huge pressure.”

The last four Davis Cup finals have been won by the home team.

SERBIA v CZECH REPUBLIC
Head-to-head: Czech Republic leads 6-5
This is the 12th meeting between the two sides, who inherited the historical records of Yugoslavia and Czechoslovakia, but only their third meeting as independent nations. Czech Republic won their last meeting 4-1 in the 2012 quarterfinal in Prague. Serbia won in Belgrade in the semifinals in 2010, recovering from 2-1 down en route to their first Davis Cup title after Novak Djokovic and Tipsarevic recorded a famous victory after winning the reverse singles rubbers.

Friday
R1: Novak Djokovic (SRB) v Radek Stepanek (CZE)
R2: Dusan Lajovic (SRB) v Tomas Berdych (CZE)

Saturday
R3: Ilija Bozoljac/Nenad Zimonjic (SRB) v Jan Hajek/Lukas Rosol (CZE)

Sunday
R4: Novak Djokovic (SRB) v Tomas Berdych (CZE)
R5: Dusan Lajovic (SRB) v Radek Stepanek (CZE)


Also Check Out:
Davis Cup Semifinals, Playoffs Preview
2013 Davis Cup Draw: Raonic, Canada Host Spain In Opener; Czechs Visit Switzerland
Serbia v Russia Headlines Fed Cup Weekend
2014 Davis Cup Draw: USA Hosts Britain, Spain Travels To Germany; Early Predictions
Spain, Stepanek-led Czech Republic Advance to 2009 Davis Cup Final

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63 Comments for Djokovic Leads Serbia Against Czechs In Davis Cup Final This Weekend

Giles Says:

C’mon you Czechs!!


bojana Says:

O,Giles it must be to much hatred in your heart to Novak and Serbia,I am really sorry for you.

NAPRED NOLE…..NAPRED SRBIJA…


Brando Says:

Ajde Uganda ajde! The African Nations Cup is this month right?……….


Ben Pronin Says:

Czechs are definitely the favorites here but it’s Davis Cup so who really knows? I don’t think Berdych will lose to Lajovic but I also have 0 information about this kid.

Post probable scenario is Djokovic and Berdych win their day 1 matches so they’re tied 1-1.

Doubles, as Berdych said, is key here. The current lineup makes me think that Serbia will win this point but chances are the Czechs will play Berdych/Stepanek. Either way, it’s a tough call. Whoever wins doubles will most likely win the whole thing.

Day 3 will probably be Djokovic and Stepanek winning, but this day is more likely to produce upsets, imo. If Czechs are down 1-2, maybe Berdych channels his inner Nadal or something and plays incredible to upend Djokovic. Or if Czechs are up 2-1 and that match goes accordingly, Lavojic surprises us all and upends Stepanek. It’s pretty exciting, really. Even though I don’t have allegience to either side, we should get some great tennis.


Giles Says:

@ Brando. Lol


Dan Martin Says:

I know this is off topic – but I really like this take – http://tennisabides.com/2013/11/15/kricksteins-own-30-for-30/ I had on the recent 30 for 30 on Connors and Krickstein check it out if you’d like – Dan


SG1 Says:

Aaron Krickstein. Excellent player. Still remember how he’d puff his face before hitting forehands. Funny stuff. I remember his dad in the crowd. I also remember that match with Connors. It may have been the best USO match (in terms of drama) that I have ever seen.


hawkeye Says:

SG1, that’s because they play the highlights of that match every year during USO, no?

I watched ESPN’s 30 for 30 special on Connors. He never spoke to Krickstein ever again after that match even though they had been friends before.

He was my favourite when I was a kid but what a $#*@%.


marko Says:

Is it just me, or are the Czech fans totally ruining this Davis Cup for others too? They just won’t stop with those damn annoying trumpets. And it’s just the Checz. I had to put the match on mute. The Belgraders should take the trumpets away from them.


Giles Says:

^^^ This is Davis Cup. Normal.


marko Says:

If it’s normal then why is it just a handful of Czech fans doing it.Like soccer hooligans.

I don’t disagree with you, but it’s just gotten on my nerves to the point where it’s inhibiting my ability to enjoy the match.


marko Says:

There is at least one Serbian fan with a trumpet too, but at least he’s got a real brass trumpet and is playing real music.


Giles Says:

Davis Cup in general is far too noisy for my liking.


Brando Says:

Why didn’t Djokovic play?

Bad move and likely will cost them the Davis Cup!


mat4 Says:

Yes, it was probably the only chance to have a shot at the DC. But even then a double with Stepanek would have been the favourite.

Could be that he is really tired, or Serbia counts on Lajovic…

Anyway, Obradovic seems to be only the impresario of the Serbian DC team. Tipsarevic had to explain him how Lajovic had to play against Berdych. But, at least, he is in good terms with Srdjan Djokovic.

BTW: Lajovic is a very talented player. He lacks a good serve, though, and he could improve his movement and his return a bit. Very nice BH.


Steve 27 Says:

The czechs will win again.


Okiegal Says:

I guess Joker didn’t play because it took a lot out of him to beat Rafa.


Bad Knee Rules Says:

Without Tipsarevic and Troicki Serbia was doomed.

Zimonjic/Djokovic aren’t good enough for Berdych/Stepanek. You don’t have to be an expert to figure that out.

Novak should try to keep his streak alive by beating Berdych. He looked very tired against Stepanek, particulary in the first set.


hawkeye Says:

@Bad Back Rules, yes indeed this tie was NID. Obviously came down to doubles.


mat4 Says:

The final is not over yet, although the Czechs are the big favourites now.


madmax Says:

SG1 Says:
Aaron Krickstein. Excellent player. Still remember how he’d puff his face before hitting forehands. Funny stuff. I remember his dad in the crowd. I also remember that match with Connors. It may have been the best USO match (in terms of drama) that I have ever seen.

November 15th, 2013 at 12:55 pm

SG1,

Do you have a link to this match?


mat4 Says:

@madmax:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pixoSeX3WIs

Then, Berdych and Djokovic are playing an exceptional first set.


mat4 Says:

I like this Novak: unleashing all his shots, going to the net, playing an uber aggressive brand of tennis.

But Berdych, without the pressure he feels usually, played really, really well, saving 9 BP in the process.


mat4 Says:

Tie break.

Excellent second set, although the first one seemed a bit better.


mat4 Says:

mini break Berdych. Great FH.


mat4 Says:

Berdych is the better player now…

But wait: from 5-4 to 5-7… Who would have predicted it?

Nole leads 2-0 in a great match, where Berdych deserved better.


Tennis X guy Says:

How in the world did Tomas manage to lose the 2nd set? 4-4 40-15 on Novak’s Serve,5-5 30-15 on Novak’s serve and 5-4 up in the breaker.Should have won the point at 5-4 esp.


Tennis X Hippy Chic Says:

Mat4 sport can be unfair,small margins lie between success and failure,a couple of points here or there and boom your two sets down,Berdych has not got a good record against Novak,whos made of much tougher stuff mentally,just wondering if that could be at the forefront of his mind?just second guessing mind you.


mat4 Says:

Berdych displays such an “easy” power, especially on the FH.


Tennis X Hippy Chic Says:

Nole in straight sets,his matches seem to follow a familiar pattern against Berdych,ie lose the 1st two sets by tight margins,then fall apart mentally in the 3rd and suffer a beatdown,seems the story when Berdych plays Nole.


Giles Says:

C’mon Radek!!


Tootie Says:

I see Novak’s younger brother sitting beside Jelena at the Davis Cup final. He looks about fifteen. The brother whom he adores and even idolizes has been living in sin many years. He will think that is okay. Do you see how sin always effects others negatively? By the way, being engaged is not being married. It is just as much fornication as it was before the “engagement.”


courbon Says:

Dear Tootie, I think Nadal is fornicating with Xisca also.Bedrych also fornicates and probably another 600 ATP players.You are very funny….seriously.


mat4 Says:

With a good coach, Lajovic could easily become a top 50.

His shots are clean, he has an excellent one hander, but has to rectify his serve and work on his movement.


mat4 Says:

Meanwhile, Stepanek is playing a great match.


mat4 Says:

@courbon:

I believe that you are wrong. They are model young people, and they don’t fornicate and certainly do not live in sin. They just walks through parks hand in hand and talk about nature, philosophy, sometimes about the birds singing… I can’t imagine they could be so nasty.


Tennis X guy Says:

So where are the Serbian patriots now?Thank god Radek didnt let that pathetic nation win!


Giles Says:

Well done Czech Republic winning the Davis Cup in this hostile environment.
Radek is da man!


Brando Says:

Congratulations to the Czech Republic team for winning!

Back to back Davis Cup wins is a mighty impressive and adulation worthy feat:

Well done team CR!

Team Serbia:

Commiserations to them. They came very far with a team that arguably has the least amount of resources to work with outside a certain Novak Djokovic.

Nice atmosphere and above all else: beautiful babes in the stands earning bonus credit from me! p

2013 is over and done with then as far as the game is concerned. And so am I on TX till AO 14′.

A earlier than usual or prescribed wish of: A merry Xmas and holiday period to all. Hope you and your loved ones can enjoy a gratifying time during the season of Goodwill.

Yours till next time

Brando


mat4 Says:

I am left without a stream, but it doesn’t matter — the match is over.

First, the result of that match was never in question. But I wondered if Radek still can play the way he did a few years ago, and the answer is yes. He is older, ranked 44 now, but he certainly hasn’t forgotten how to play tennis.

Then, watching how cleanly Lajovic hits, I asked myself why such a player is ranked over the 100th place — he certainly is better in almost all elements of the game than Troicki or Granollers, e.g.

And here, it is clear how important a good coach is. First, his serve — somebody knowledgeable would have rectify Lajovic’s position of the arm long time ago. Then, watching Lajovic being on top of many of the rallies, just to lose the point, it was clear that he doesn’t work on the fundamental patterns, on shot selection, especially in transition game, and Stepanek discovered it very early.


mat4 Says:

@Brando:

There’s nothing to regret for Serbia. They played the final, it is quite honourable. It was clear that without Tipsarevic, they couldn’t win.

Merry holidays and Christmas to you too.


courbon Says:

@ mat4:Aaaa…I got it know.I did not know.I’m very sorry.At that age I was fornicate anything I could get hands on.But I can see now that was only me…


courbon Says:

Tennis X: Pathetic nation? Only pathetic thing here is you…don not answer.I don’t have a time for a bigoted, small minded, nationalistic a**holes. (-:


mat4 Says:

@courbon:

Yes, but it was the savage XX century. But now, in the XXI century, we don’t swear, we are always politically correct, and we rather walk out our dog and meditate in the silence of the park.


courbon Says:

@ mat4: I went yesterday to National tennis championship in Toulouse. And there was a players like Roger- Vasselin ( very smart but not much power ) and Kenny de Scheeper ( that guys serve is very, very big!), and some guys like ranked 190, 150 and like that.I some of the tennis they played, and some rallies have been of top quality, like top 10 but…not consistent. Silly mistakes.I guess, any of this players could massively improve because lot’s of them a very good but for short time.


courbon Says:

@ Brando: Before you go, have a nice Christmas and wild New Year!


courbon Says:

@ mat4: We, civilized people, always go to extremes-from earlier 20th century which was full of bigotism ,chauvinist, racism and so on, we go in other direction of liberalism and political correctnes and then- we over do it.(late 80′s to early 90′s was probably the right balanced between two )


madmax Says:

mat4 Says:
@madmax:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pixoSeX3WIs

Then, Berdych and Djokovic are playing an exceptional first set.

November 17th, 2013 at 9:01 am

Mat4, thank you for that. I will watch it later.


Kanshiwa Says:

It’s a pity we didn’t do it ,but having such great event in our capitol is a feat of itself for such small (in numbers) nation. Nole was a rock once again, and little Lajovic, aside his exceptional backhand, was out of his league. Congrats to Czech anyhow, they deserved it.


Tennis X Hippy Chic Says:

Brando i dont celebrate Christmas as such,but i will wish you a happy Yuletide and fantastic new year.


Tennis X Hippy Chic Says:

Novak played brilliant in those big points,it all bodes well for a great year in 2014,im hoping Rafa can carry his good year forward into next year,and that Andy will be back with a bang,but the tennis season is now officially closed.


Tennis X Hippy Chic Says:

Have to ask where was the moderation with Tennis X Guys posts earlier on?


courbon Says:

Hi Hippy.I moderate myself Tennis X Guy, don’t you worry.Have nice evening, I’m off to bed.Speak to you soon


Steve 27 Says:

Congratulations to the Czechs, they deserved to win the Davis Cup again.
Tak pojď!


Giles Says:

Radek excelled himself. At age 34 he can still play brilliant tennis. Heard him say that he didn’t start his tennis career until he was 23/24 so I guess that explains a lot.
Well done Czech Republic. Fully deserved to lift the trophy.


moam Says:

“RadStep” should get Davis Cup MVP, actually for the last two years. At 34, he is still an amazing player to watch execute serve/volley despite bigger stronger players with state-of-the-art rackets and strings able to hit passing shots from anywhere. Radek continues moving forward daring any and all to continue passing him. He is a marvel!
http://martinstake128.wordpress.com/2012/11/23/radek-stepanek-defiant-artist/


hawkeye Says:

Blame Troicki.


mat4 Says:

I think that Shtyepanyek would have beaten Troitski as well. The only chance for Serbia was Tipsy in good form.

About Novak playing the double: when I watched Novak going to the net so often in the first set of his match against Berdych, I thought he felt too tired to play that double. But, it was the only chance of the Serbian team, although a very slim one.

About the public: read a lot about the behaviour of the Serbian audience — for me, it was normal for the DC. If anybody remembers the behaviour of the French public in RG when one of their favs plays, this is nothing exuberant.


Margot Says:

Step was amazing, isn’t he 34??? Wheeeee! Saves his very best for DC
Poor Berd, played much better than Nole in the second set, blinked and suddenly he’s lost it and, inevitably, the match!
Not too much tennis around now till Jan but I believe Rafa, mostly, and Nole are playing exhos in South America. Don’t know how easy that’ll be to stream?
Really missing Andy :(


Margot Says:

PS mat
Yes, that IS Davis Cup. And crowds can behave in an unseemly way anywhere eg at the O2 where I’ve just been, but also I remember Andy being booed at RG when he came ON to play Gasquet. Of course, by the end, they were booing Gasquet!
I feel “booing” should only be used in the most extreme circumstances!


mat4 Says:

Reading some reports, it seems there was some friction between Novak and other members of the team, when Novak refused to play the doubles.

Why didn’t Djokovic play? Although I read allegations here about his patriotism, we should remember that he played injured against the USA, or Argentina.


mat4 Says:

@Margot:

I feel it shouldn’t be used at all… I really don’t remember in the last few years when a player deserved to be booed. But then…

Stepanek’s brand of tennis is always amazing when he plays well.

Berdych has an exceptional “easy power”, excellent shots, and moves well. He’s competent at the net too.

I never understood why his results are not better. He played two great sets against Novak and lost both of them. In the first one, Djokovic was unreal, so OK, but in the second, Berdych had a real chance in the TB.

But, in that first set, Berdych saves a lot of BP, and showed that, when he is relaxed, he can play his best in clutch moments.


Margot Says:

mat4, either Frew or the other commentator said that Nole didn’t want to play doubles because he felt he needed to be “fresher” for Berd, who has played way fewer matches than he has since the USOpen.
Makes sense, he looked very tired to me in that second set. should not be pilloried for not playing either. One person cannot win Davis Cup as us Brits know only too well!

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