Novak Djokovic is targetting his final big title of 2023 – and he will need the help of his Serbian team-mates to get the job done.
Djokovic landed in Malaga a few hours after he cemented his status as the best player in the world with a win at the ATP Finals in Turin, as he produced sensational performances to see off Carlos Alcaraz and Jannik Sinner in his final two matches in the season-ending championships.
Djokovic led Serbia to Davis Cup glory back in 2010, in what he describes as one of the best moments of his career.
Now he is hoping to repeat that success, with Serbia set to play Great Britain in their quarter-final match in Malaga on Thursday.
“The season is not finished yet,” said a motivated Djokovic.
“I really would like to win the Davis Cup with Serbia. That’s a goal. It’s an important week for us, for our nation. We’ll do our best.
“The season is not finished yet. I really would like to win the Davis Cup with Serbia. That’s a goal. It’s an important week for us, for our nation. We’ll do our best.”
Djokovic is the star performer in the Davis Cup Final 8 in Malaga, with 24-time Grand Slam champion aiming to lead his team to glory on Spanish soil.
TUESDAY – Canada vs Finland
WEDNESDAY – Czech Republic vs Australia
THURSDAY – Great Britain vs Serbia and Italy vs Netherland
The winners of the quarter-finals will progress to the semi-finals on Friday and Saturday, with the final being played on Sunday.
Champions 28 times: 1907, 1908, 1909, 1911, 1914, 1919, 1939, 1950, 1951, 1952, 1953, 1955, 1956, 1957, 1959, 1960, 1961, 1962, 1964, 1965, 1966, 1967, 1973, 1977, 1983, 1986, 1999, 2003
Champions: 1980, 2012, 2013
Debut at this stage of the Davis Cup
Best performance: 2001 Semi-finals
Champions 10 times 1903, 1904, 1905, 1906, 1912, 1933, 1934, 1935, 1936, 2015
Canada’s performances in Bologna in September saw them advance to the quarter-finals again in their first appearance since winning the title last November – and Frank Dancevic’s squad will aim to get past the challenge from the Finnish team as they continue the quest to defend their Davis Cup title.
The Canadians have enhanced their team this week, with Felix Auger-Aliassime returning to the fray after missing the group stage, backed up by Gabriel Diallo and Vasek Pospisil, as well as 2014 Wimbledon doubles champion Vasek Pospisil and the returning 2016 Wimbledon singles finalist Milos Raonic. Galarneau has been in particularly impressive Davis Cup form of late with the 24-year-old on a 5-match Davis Cup winning streak, with victories in the 2 singles and 3 doubles matches he played in Bologna in September.
Finland, meanwhile, will look to build on their already historic season by replicating the form they displayed in Split in September, with the team fighting to win 2 of the 3 ties they played to finish as Group D runners-up.
Otto Virtanen was the best player at the event in Split that week after defeating Botic van de Zandschulp, Dino Prizmic and Mackenzie McDonald to open all 3 of Finland’s ties with a match win, while Emil Ruusuvuori won 2 of the 3 singles matches he contested.
Victory for the Finnish team would see them advance to the Davis Cup semi-finals for the first time and record a new best performance in
Finland – who are one of only 2 nations in Malaga this week who have never won the Davis Cup before, alongside Netherlands – had never been beyond the World Group Play-offs prior to the 2023 season, with their 5-0 victory against New Zealand at that stage in September 2022 seeing them to the Qualifiers for the first time.