Novak Djokovic is set to make his first appearance since his last-16 exit at Indian Wells three weeks ago as he headlines the Serbia squad facing Spain in the Davis Cup quarter-finals this weekend in Belgrade (April 7-9).
The world No2, who pulled out of Miami with a right elbow injury, is hoping he can turn around what has been a sub-par season so far by guiding his nation to a first semi-final since 2013.
Djokovic, who is on an 11-match winning streak in Davis Cup singles rubbers, will be joined by Viktor Troicki, Dusan Lajovic and doubles specialist Nenad Zimonjic in Team Serbia, who take on a Rafael Nadal-less Spain squad.
“I personally always draw very positive energy from these weeks,” said Djokovic was quoted as saying on www.daviscup.com during the pre-weekend press conference in the Serbian capital.
“I have shared some amazing moments in my career, in my life, with the people that are sitting at this table. I have had throughout my life very friendly relationships and very close relationships with all these guys. Having that in mind and approaching these weeks it always brings the best out of me.
“Playing for our country in the official team competition – the only official team competition we have in this sport – is definitely very special for me personally and for all of us as a team.”
On the indoor hard court of the Aleksandar Nikolic Arena, Spain will be led by world No19 Pablo Carreno Busta, who is his nation’s No3 behind the absent Nadal and Roberto Bautista Agut.
Carreno Busta, who reached the semi-finals at Indian Wells last month, leads a Spain crew that also includes world No24 Albert Ramos Vinolas, 19-year-old Jauma Munar and reigning doubles Olympic champion Marc Lopez.
Other quarter-final action sees France – sans Gael Monfils and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga – host an Andy Murray-less Great Britain on clay in Rouen.