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Serbia motivated by 2019 Davis Cup heartbreak: Novak Djokovic

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

On the inaugural Davis Cup Finals in Madrid two years in the past, Serbia have been knocked out within the quarter-finals 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 news convention he broke down.

Serbia are drawn in Group F with Austria and Germany – each of whom are lacking their high gamers – and shall be fancied to achieve the knockout part.

“It’s nice to be again with the Davis Cup crew,” Djokovic instructed a news convention forward of Friday’s opening round-robin tie towards Austria in Innsbruck, one in every 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 return again collectively and provides it one other go so right here we’re as soon as once more collectively once more.

“We’re all mates and the chemistry within the crew is excellent. That’s a necessary ingredient for achievement.”

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

In regular circumstances they’d have acquired vocal backing from Austria’s massive Serb inhabitants however the OlympiaHalle shall 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 shall be performed with none followers current – a bitter blow to the occasion which was cancelled final yr due to the pandemic.

Whereas unhappy that the power of the followers shall be lacking, Djokovic helps the multi-city staging of the Davis Cup Finals, with fundamental 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 crew competitors which had historically concerned residence and away ties performed throughout a number of rounds by the yr.

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

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

Britain’s captain Leon Smith, whose facet will play their Group C ties in Innsbruck, stated he needed 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 perhaps occurring subsequent yr, however solely listening to it second hand,” he stated. “It might be good to speak about it earlier than choices are made.”

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