Serbia faces one of the more demanding trips in the upcoming Davis Cup by BNP Paribas World Group play-offs on 12-14 September, so it’s just as well the 2010 champion has one of the most experienced heads in the game marshalling its fortunes on the court.
Bogdan Obradovic’s men will have to do without the 'exhausted' world No. 1 Novak Djokovic when they take on India in Bangalore on 12-14 September, so it's the stable presence and wise words of Nenad Zimonjic that could help make the difference in Southern India.
Zimonjic, who was awarded the ITF/ITHF Davis Cup Award of Excellence during last year’s final in Belgrade, has played 47 ties for his country since making his debut all the way back in 1995, racking up 40 wins in singles and doubles in the process.
And the 38-year-old Belgrade native is ready to continue his commitment to his nation as Serbia seeks to avoid dropping into zonal competition for the first time since 2007.
“I’ll be there for the Serbian team, as always,” said Zimonjic. “All these years that I’ve been playing, it’s always an honour for me. It’s a big match, an important match for us to stay in the World Group.”
With Djokovic absent, Janko Tipsarevic injured and Viktor Troicki not yet back to his best, 24-year-old Dusan Lajovic and 22-year-old Filip Krajinovic have been given the nod to feature alongside Zimonjic in the upcoming play-offs.
Both Lajovic and Krajinovic are yet to win a live Davis Cup rubber, and Zimonjic believes his influence can bring out the best in both and, indeed, the team.
“I’m kind of like the older brother to them,” he said. “I think it’s a big factor that I’m there with the team. It gives them a little bit of a different feeling and maybe more confidence. That’s the role that I have in the team as well as playing doubles.
“I hope I will help the team again to win an important tie against India.”