After crashing out of the Australian Open in the second round, Novak Djokovic cannot wait to don the colours of his country for their Davis Cup meeting with Russia.
Captained by Nenad Zimonjic, Serbia have every intention of capturing their second Davis Cup title this year, having won the team competition in 2010.
Speaking ahead of the action, Djokovic gave off the impression that he was delighted to be back on court in a team environment instead of in a personal capacity.
“I am overjoyed to be back among these guys as we are all close friends and it’s a very special atmosphere every time we get together,” he said.
“Russia are a young and motivated team and we must not underestimate them under any circumstances. I have never played here in Nis but I heard that it’s a great atmosphere so I am looking forward to it.”
The tie will take place in the Southern Serbian city of Nis at the Cair Sports Hall this weekend.
— Davis Cup (@DavisCup) February 1, 2017
When questioned on his disappointing Australian Open exit, Djokovic chose to deflect attention away from his shock-loss to Denis Istomin and instead focus on the incredible performances of Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer.
“I am not surprised that Federer won the title because you can always expect him to play at the highest level when he is fit,” he continued.
“He was sidelined by injury for six months but having entered the tournament fresh and fit, he played outstanding tennis and I can only congratulate him.
“The final between him and Nadal was one of the sports hallmarks of the year, going beyond tennis itself, as it’s been one of the greatest rivalries of all time.
“Nadal, too, played very well and they both showed why they are great champions on and off the court. It was a massive boost for tennis any way you look at it.”