By Vishal Gajaria
The Serbian Tennis Federation ruled out country’s second-ranked player Janko Tipsarevic from their Davis Cup finals squad, against defending champions Czech Republic, which kicks-off from November 15, 2013.
Tipsarevic is reportedly suffering from a foot-injury that is yet to heal completely.
117th-ranked Dusan Lajovic was subsequently announced the replacement just before the draw ceremony on Thursday.
“It’s a pity Tipsarevic can’t play but his support from the sidelines will mean a lot to us,” exclaimed World No.2 Novak Djokovic, who will be leading the Serbian Davis Cup side.
“Most of all to [Dusan] Lajovic who now has the opportunity to show his potential on the big stage,” he continued.
“What we have to do is take the pressure off him and make sure he doesn’t suffer from stage fright, because no one expects him to beat [Tomas] Berdych. We all know that would mean asking a lot.”
Djokovic, who lately triumphed at the World Tour Finals in London, is slated to meet Radek Stepanek in the first rubber of the tie.
“If I beat Stepanek, he should get a confidence boost from Serbia being 1-0 up in the tie and with the vociferous support from 18,000 fans in the Kombank Arena, anything can happen,” he quoted while signing off.