Davis Cup 2017: Serbia still a threat despite Novak Djokovic's absence, says France captain Yannick Noah
France cannot take anything for granted in their Davis Cup semi-final against Serbia even though the visitors will be without Novak Djokovic, team captain Yannick Noah said on Thursday.
Lille: France cannot take anything for granted in their Davis Cup semi-final against Serbia even though the visitors will be without Novak Djokovic, team captain Yannick Noah said on Thursday.
France's number two Lucas Pouille will kick off the tie on Friday when he takes on Dusan Lajovic in the first singles match. Friday’s action will be completed with a second singles match between Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Laslo Djere.
“We try to be clear-headed and be aware that the tie will still be difficult,” Noah told a news conference.
“It’s not easy because almost everyone thinks it will be a formality.”
Pierre-Hugues Herbert and Nicolas Mahut, fifth in the ATP doubles Race, face Filip Krajinovic and Nenad Zimonjic in Saturday’s doubles.
The reverse singles will take place on Sunday.
In the absence of Djokovic, who ended his season prematurely because of an elbow injury, World No 80 Lajovic is Serbia’s best-ranked player.
The tie is being played on clay at Lille’s Pierre Mauroy Stadium.
Pouille and Lajovic have a 1-1 head-to-head record but the Frenchman has won their only encounter on the slow surface, last year in Bucharest.
Carlos Alcaraz became the youngest player since the start of the ATP Tour in 1990 to beat three top-five players at the same event.
Rafael Nadal, who turns 36 on 3 June, is playing his final warm-up in Rome this week before attempting to add to his record total of 13 French Open titles.
Djokovic, who is in his record-extending 369th week at World No 1, must reach at least the semi-finals in Rome to hold onto the number one spot.