Novak Djokovic has singled out Dan Evans as Serbia prepares to take on Great Britain in the quarter-final of the Davis Cup. The world No 1 has made it clear that winning the team event is his “biggest desire” for the season. But his hopes may be scuppered by Evans, who Djokovic believes is dangerous in both singles and doubles after watching the 33-year-old team up with Neal Skupski to defeat France in the recent group stage.
The Davis Cup Finals has thrown up a mouthwatering clash in the last of four quarter-final ties as Britain faces Serbia on November 23. For many tennis fans, it could be a chance to see Djokovic compete against a team that includes his old rival Andy Murray. But the world No 1 is worried about another member of Team GB.
Djokovic confessed that Britain have a strong squad as he highlighted one man in particular – Evans. “They are a complete team, they have four top singles players, while one of them, Evans, is extremely good in doubles as well,” the 24-time Grand Slam champion told Sportal.
And the 36-year-old has already been scouting out his rivals as he added: “I saw that he played continuously and that he was the choice of their coach in combination with Skupski. They are very difficult and I hope that we will be able to win after the singles.”
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It comes after Evans and Skupski defeated France’s Nicolas Mahut and Edouard Roger-Vasselin in a decisive doubles rubber at the Manchester Arena last month. The winner got a spot in the Davis Cup Finals in Malaga and the British duo saved four match points en route to victory.
Djokovic is well aware that Serbia could struggle if Evans is called up for both singles and doubles again. He continued: “It will be very difficult, tense, if Evans plays the other board, he is a very awkward player against everyone. However, I believe in our guys. And we also have a lot of choices, maybe not for the doubles, but for the singles, yes, and I hope that they will all be fit and healthy, so that we can think about who will play.”
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The world No 1 recently showed his dedication to the Davis Cup as he went straight to Serbia’s group stage tie in Valencia after winning the US Open. Djokovic then pulled out of the Asian swing to take a brief break from the sport and he will return for the Paris Masters, the ATP Finals and, of course, the Davis Cup.
It’s the team competition that is at the forefront of Djokovic’s mind as the season nears its end but it remains to be seen whether Evans and co can ruin Serbia’s chances of lifting the trophy. “Although I have the highest expectations for all three tournaments, somehow the biggest desire from the end of the season is to win the Davis Cup. I hope that I will be there at my peak, like the other guys from the national team,” Djokovic explained.
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