World Group action starts in


02 October 2013

Djokovic one of three new Commitment Award winners


Photo: Srdjan StevanovicNovak Djokovic (SRB)

Novak Djokovic, Jose Statham and Mohammed Al Nabhani all reached the required landmark to earn a Davis Cup Commitment Award following the most recent round of Davis Cup by BNP Paribas ties.

Novak Djokovic (SRB)Djokovic, who helped Serbia reach a second Davis Cup Final with an inspiring performance against Canada at the Belgrade Arena, was contesting his 20th home-and-away tie on September 13-15.

The Serbian superstar made his Davis Cup debut representing Serbia and Montenegro against Latvia in a Europe/Africa Zone Group II tie back in 2004. As a 16-year-old, he played a dead rubber against Janis Skroderis (which he won) and so began what has been a memorable career to date.

Djokovic led Serbia to Davis Cup glory in 2010 and so inspired his own startling rise to world No. 1 and that run of consecutive victories that took everyone by surprise at the start of 2011.

His first loss in Davis Cup came against Olivier Rochus in 2005 but overall he holds an impressive win-loss record of 26-9 in singles and doubles. He is a perfect 5-0 this year and his most recent loss came when he was forced to retire against Juan Martin del Potro in the semifinals in 2011.

Djokovic was presented with his Commitment Award alongside Slobodan Zivojinovic, Nenad Zimonjic and Janko Tipsarevic in an on-court ceremony at the Belgrade Arena last month. 

Jose Statham (NZL)Statham played in his 20th home-and-away Davis Cup tie on September 13-15 and what a tie it was. New Zealand clinched a place in Asia/Oceania Zone Group I following a thrilling 3-2 victory over Philippines in Lapu-Lapu City in a tie that ended in the early hours of Monday morning.

Born in the United Kingdom, Statham has played Davis Cup for New Zealand for nine years. He made his debut as a 16-year-old in an Asia/Oceania Zone Group II 1st round tie in 2005 when he played a dead rubber against Alexey Kedryuk.

Statham has gone on to compile a win-loss record in singles and doubles of 20-8 and helped the Kiwis to reach Asia/Oceania Zone Group I in 2011-12, before this year's sojourn in Zone Group II.

Aged 28, the ambidextrous Atlanta resident should be his country's No. 1 for a good few years to come.

Al Nabhani contested his 50th tie at any level of Davis Cup competition during the week-long Asia/Oceania Zone Group III event in Dubai last month.

The 28-year-old from Oman will not be delighted with the outcome of this year's event (Oman finished in last place and were therefore relegated to Asia/Oceania Zone Group IV for 2014) but he is experienced enough to know his team can bounce back.

Having made his Davis Cup debut in Zone Group IV in 2000, Al Nabhani has been part of Oman's ups and downs over the last 14 years and is second only to Khalid Al Nabhani in terms of years and ties played and rubbers won for his country.

Undoubtedly Al Nabhani's high is reaching Asia/Oceania Zone Group II in 2008-09 and he will surely remember the doubles rubber he contested against Pacific Oceania in 2008 to keep his team in Zone Group II.

The two Al Nabhani's teamed up to defeat Brett Baudinet and Cyril Jacobe 76(3) 57 36 76(3) 64 in what is not only the longest tie contested by players from Oman (4 hours, 5 minutes) but also the most games (57). 

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