CHARLEROI, BELGIUM: Victor Troicki, hero of Serbia’s 2010 charge to the Davis Cup by BNP Paribas title, will get things started for the visitors on Friday when he plays David Goffin in the opening singles.
Troicki has stepped up into the No. 2 singles position following the withdrawal of Janko Tipsarevic, who pulled out of the first round tie earlier this week due to a heel injury he sustained at the Australian Open.
By being drawn to play the second singles match, Aussie Open champion and world No. 1 Novak Djokovic gets just a little longer to recoup after his flight from Melbourne before taking to the court against 32-year-old Olivier Rochus. Belgium has chosen experience over higher ranking in opting for the diminutive Rochus over Ruben Bemelmans and Steve Darcis.
Saturday’s doubles pits Bemelmans and Darcis against Nenad Zimonjic and Troicki, although changes to pairs can be made up to one hour before the start of play.
The reverse singles on Sunday are scheduled to feature an intriguing first meeting between Djokovic and Goffin, followed by Rochus taking on Troicki.
The full draw:
R1: David Goffin (BEL) v Victor Troicki (SRB)
R2: Olivier Rochus (BEL) v Novak Djokovic (SRB)
R3: Ruben Bemelmans/Steve Darcis (BEL) v Nenad Zimonjic/Victor Troicki (SRB)
R4: David Goffin (BEL) v Novak Djokovic (SRB)
R5: Olivier Rochus (BEL) v Victor Troicki (SRB
Serbian players also talk about the court:
Nole: “I noticed that the ground is not at all in good condition, do not wanna sound like a player who complains and looks for excuses, but my teammates have had more training on it and I can freely say that this is the worst court on which we played in our careers,”
He said that he could not understand how the World Tennis Federation (ITF) allowed the slag placed directly onto the floor. “With all due respect to the organizers, two people working in the field every day. Two people can not be in time for preparation and improve the course of time…This is an extremely dangerous situation for all of us, ”
Captain Obradovic: “It’s a huge flaw that would compromise the safety of my players. I made my complaint about this.” He added that however, it is expected that the organizers put the court in order in 24 hours.