By Zoran Milosavljevic
BELGRADE (Reuters) - Novak Djokovic is ready to overcome his exhaustion after his loss in the U.S. Open final and is raring to play when Serbia take on the Czech Republic in the Davis Cup World Group semi-final this weekend.
The jet-lagged world number two, who lost to Rafa Nadal on Monday in an epic clash in New York, has not had enough time to recuperate from the two-week tournament and the flight to Belgrade but says he is keen to enter the fray against the Czechs.
"Yes, I am exhausted because it's not the easiest thing in the world to recover from playing the entire U.S. Open and traveling back east but I have to adjust as quickly as I can," Djokovic told a news conference after Thursday's draw.
"We can't wait for the tie to begin and I am sure I will be able to beat the fatigue because our motivation and desire to reach the final are huge," said Djokovic, who takes on Radek Stepanek in the opening singles rubber Friday.
"It's a historic match for us and the occasion will force us to dig deep into our resources," he added.
Serbia are looking for their first final in their third season in the competition's top tier and while Djokovic and the players believe the home court should advantage should be a telling factor, team captain Bogdan Obradovic is cautious.
"The Czechs played in the final last year, we are up against a very good team and we have only a 50-50 chance of beating them because they have an excellent Davis Cup record," he said.
Serbia's Davis Cup fans have created a football-like atmosphere in the Belgrade Arena since Serbia reached the world group in 2008 and Stepanek said playing in front of a capacity 18,000 crowd would be an honor.
"It should be a very enjoyable experience because every player likes that kind of challenge, it will be a great tie and a feast for the all fans," he said.
Serbia's Janko Tipsarevic takes on Tomas Berdych in the other singles rubber Friday, while Nenad Zimonjic and Viktor Troicki face the Czech duo of Jan Hajek and Ivo Minar in Saturday's doubles.
Djokovic plays Berdych and Tipsarevic is up against Stepanek in Sunday's reverse singles.
(Editing by Barry Moody)