Tired Djokovic pulls out of tie

World No 1 will not be coming to Bangalore for Serbia's World Group Play-off

Tired Djokovic pulls out of tie

After days of speculation about his availability, World No 1 Novak Djokovic finally cleared the air by pulling out of Serbia’s World Group Play-off against India to be held here at the KSLTA courts from September 12-14.

While the news will certainly come as a big disappointment for the sell-out crowd, Djokovic’s absence has enhanced manifold India’s chances of pulling off an upset what with the hosts getting the services of veteran doubles ace Leander Paes for the tie.
Serbian non-playing captain Bogdan Obradovic while confirming Djokovic’s decison skip the trip to Bangalore said: “Our best player Novak Djokovic is definitely not coming to India. The biggest reason is fatigue. He is very tired and wants to take rest and get ready for the last part of the season. He wants to stay as No. 1 till the end of the season. Also, there are personal reasons after he got married and wants to spend some time at home. That is normal part of life.”

Djokovic, who suffered a shock loss in the US Open semifinal against Japan’s Kei Nishikori, sought to spend time with his wife Jelena who is expecting their first child. Bangalore’s high humidity and altitude were also factors that Obradovic mentioned for Djokovic’s pull-out.

The reigning Wimbledon champion was replaced by World No 179 Ilija Bozoljac. Obradovic, however, felt that Serbia would be handful even without Djokovic. “We have a very confident team,” he pointed out.

“With Novak, we would have been stronger but still, you know, we have players who are rising up. In our team, we have two youngsters Dusan Lajovic and Filip Krajinovic. They have been doing well on the tour. Lajovic, though he lost in the first round of the US Open, he has experience (of playing) in Davis Cup. They have played together for many years and know each other very well. Ilija Bozoljac is a good singles player, runs very well and has played some good matches. He can also play doubles and that is good for our team, especially on the third day as we never know what will happen on Saturday (when the doubles rubber is held),” he explained.

Bozoljac, who has the enviable task of filling the big shoes of Djokovic remained unfazed. “We were without Novak even in Novi Sad (where they lost to Switzerland 2-3 World Group first round early this year), and also, we also have been without some of our good players at times. Anyway, we have a good team and we are looking forward to the match,” he remarked.

Bozolac, ranked 179 in the world, conceded that the presence of Paes makes their task a bit difficult. “If Paes plays, then it will be tough. Every match is tough. But it doesn’t matter who is on the other side of the net, we have to do our best and believe in victory. That is what makes Davis Cup a special competition. We travel a lot and play in different conditions. It is part of the good tennis player how he adjusts to different conditions. You (Indian players) have advantage because you are used to the weather, time and everything else. We have enough time and hope to get as much preparations as we can.”

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