2013 Davis Cup Final: Serbia vs. Czech Republic Preview, Predictions
The 2010 and 2012 Davis Cup Champions battle it out starting today to crown the 2013 Davis Cup champion. Serbia, led by Novak Djokovic, will face the Czech Republic led by the duo of Radek Stepanek and Tomas Berdych. This one is expected to be close and both teams are deserving of the DC final as they are teams with talent, chemistry and desire.
The final will be played in Belgrade on indoor hard courts.
For team Serbia, they have Novak Djokovic, who is undefeated this fall as their number 1. He should be a near lock to win his 2 singles rubbers tentatively scheduled to be against Radek Stepanek and Tomas Berdych. Those wins would put the Serbs within one win of the tie and they would need to win just 1 of the 3 other matches.
However, they do have cause for concern as their normal number 2 and 3 players, Janko Tipsarevic and Viktor Troicki are both out of this tie. Tipsarevic intended to play, though he has had a very poor season but withdrew in favor of Dusan Lajovic, a young player close to breaking into the top 100.
Troicki is out with a controversial doping ban.
The Serbian doubles tandem will be Nenad Zimonjic/Ilija Bozoljac who have played well so far this Davis Cup.
For the Czech Republic, they have relied on the chemistry and passion of Radek Stepanek and Tomas Berdych to carry them both this year and last and it has served them well. However, Stepanek has dealt with some injury issues and his ranking and level of play has dropped a little, while Berdych was so-so this fall.
Their doubles team will be Jan Hajek/Lukas Rosol. Hajek isn’t great indoors or in great form, but Rosol is a solid player indoors and his game seems to be improving from a severe slump for part of this season.
The doubles rubber will be key and if Serbia can win it, they should be home free barring a massive upset by Berdych or Stepanek over a top form and seemingly healthy Djokovic. Though he has played a lot of tennis this fall, Djokovic has gotten a few days off since the World Tour Finals, which also probably helped prep him for this indoor DC final.
However, if the Czechs win the doubles rubber Berdych and Stepanek will both need to beat Lajovic, which is doable, in order to win the tie for them.
In the end I’m going to pick Serbia as they should win 3-1 with a dead 5th rubber (2 Djokovic singles wins and a doubles win).
—Steen Kirby, Tennis East Coast