Serbian stalwart Novak Djokovic will plough into Davis Cup World Group play almost immediately arriving in Serbia from his US Open finals loss as he leads the home side against Canada starting on Friday.
Djokovic spent an extra day in New York after losing the Monday night US Open final to Rafael Nadal, headlining a Tuesday evening gala for his personal charity.
He then crossed the Atlantic to Belgrade and hopes to shake off jet-lag in time start the semi-final tie against Canadian Vasek Pospisil in indoor clay in the capital.
Janko Tipsarevic will face Canadian number one Milos Raonic in the reverse singles.
In Prague, holder the Czech Republic will begin as US Open doubles champion Radek Stepanek faces Juan Moncao and Tomas Berdych takes on Leonardo Mayer. The South American visitors are missing Juan Del Potro, who is skipping the competition this season.
The teams are meeting for a second year in succession. The Czech went on to win the title last November over Spain.
The Czechs travelled to Buenos Aires in 2012 and beat the home side, with Argentina now hoping to do the same in the away tie.
“Tennis always gives you a chance for revenge,” said Argentine captain Martin Jaite. “We lost a tough semi-final last year but we are very happy to be again in the semis.” “We have to play very, very well and have chances - we play the defending champions, a great team.” In Belgrade, Djokovic fronted up looking relatively fresh in time for the Thursday draw ceremony.
“It’s not the first time I’ve had just two days to get ready for the Davis Cup after long-haul flights,” said the world number one.
“The 2011 experience was not a great one when I faced (Juan) del Potro in the semi-final against Argentina because I was injured - apart from being exhausted - and we lost the tie.” Djokovic confessed: “I am tired and jet-lagged but I couldn’t get here before Wednesday, but I am fit now and we haven’t played at home in the Davis Cup for two years. I’m as motivated and inspired as ever to play for my country in this team event,” In World Group play-off ties, US Open champion RafAael Nadal plays Sergiy Stakhovsky in the second rubber on opening day against the Ulraine while in Zagreb, Andy Murray starts against Open junior winner Borna Conic. Open semi-finalist Stan Wawrinka opens for Switzerland against Ecuador when he plays Emilio Gomez.