Serbia won the Davis Cup for the first time in their history at the end of 2010 and it news to nobody that the current world no.1, Novak Djokovic, attributes his miraculous unbeaten run the following year, to the confidence he got from helping his country to glory.
With the likes of Djokovic, Tipsarevic and Troicki at their disposal the Serbian team certainly have plenty of strength and will be looking to push on and repeat their success with a second triumph in November’s final.
The Serbs exited the competition at this stage last year; however they safely negotiated their way into the quarter-finals this time around with a comfortable win over Belgium. Djokovic and Troicki gave the Serbians a 2-0 lead before Troicki and Zimonjic made it 3-0 after three rubbers.
The USA has not won this event since 2007 when an Andy Roddick inspired run saw them collect their 32nd Davis Cup title. They are the most successful nation in the competition’s history and were the very first winners of the event all the way back in 1900.
In recent years, they have struggled to make it deep into this event and when you look at the likes of Agassi and Roddick being replaced with Isner and Querrey, it’s easy to see why they are expected to struggle again this year.
Having said that, the USA did cause a couple of upsets with clay court victories over both Switzerland and France in 2012 and they overcame Brazil in a tight 3-2 victory early this year.
These two nations have only met once previously in Davis Cup tennis and it was the Serbs who won.
The match took place in 2010 and the 3-1 victory in Belgrade marked the start of a run which would culminate in their first ever Davis Cup triumph.
In the eyes of the tennis odds makers, the Bryan brothers will be big favourites to overcome the Serbs in the doubles rubber, but with Djokovic in their corner the Serbians know they have a great chance of giving themselves two rubbers as long as he can overcome Isner and Querrey in his singles matches.
That would mean the key battles will be the singles rubbers between Querrey/Troicki and Isner/Troicki.
Unlike when these two nations met three years ago in Belgrade, it will be the USA who have home advantage this time around and whilst Djokovic is comfortable on any surface and in any arena, it may just be that the to other members of the team feel the pressure of the vociferous crowd, baying for a home victory on the indoor hard courts.
When it comes to placing our tennis picks, I believe that the USA will be 2-1 ahead after the first three rubbers. Djokovic should win his match but I don’t see the doubles or Troicki’s opener going the way of the Serbs.
We might then see Djokovic level it at 2-2 on Sunday afternoon, but even then I’d expect the USA to come through and take the final rubber – sneaking the tie 3-2.
The USA are the underdogs but I’m going to back them to sneak through with the home advantage and I’d probably go for a 3-2 score line.