India, on Tuesday, drew top-seed Serbia for the Davis Cup World Group play-off, but the 26-year-old world No. 2 and six-time Grand Slam champion Novak Djokovic may not make the trip for the tie to be played in India, from September 12 to 14, the week after the US Open.
Champion in 2010, Serbia had lost the World Group first round tie this year to Switzerland, when neither Djokovic nor Janko Tipsarevic, made the team.
It was the presence of Djokovic and Tipsarevic that was instrumental in taking Serbia to the final last year where Djokovic won both his matches though the team lost to the Czech Republic. Serbia had fielded Dusan Lajovic (76), Ilija Bozoljac (189), Filip Krajinovic (223) and Nenad Zimonjic (doubles No.13) in the tie against Switzerland earlier this year, which the latter won 3-2.
Interestingly, Somdev Devvarman beat Tipsarevic in straight sets in the last tie between the two countries in Novi Sad in 2009. Incidentally, that was the last time India figured in the World Group as it lost the subsequent play-off to Japan.
Expressing happiness about Serbia coming to India and hope that Djokovic will make the trip, the president of the All India Tennis Association Anil Khanna said the surface and the venue would be decided in consultation with the captain and the players this month.
India beat Korea 3-1 in Busan in the Asia-Oceania group ‘I’ tie last week to qualify for the World Group play-off. The team had earlier beaten Chinese Taipei 5-0 in Indore in the first round.
Though the Indian team will be chosen in due course of time, the 148th ranked Yuki Bhambri who missed the tie against Korea owing to injury is expected to strengthen the team, to be headed by Somdev Devvarman.
The winner of the play-off will make it to the World Group for next year, while the loser will move to the regional competition.