TORONTO (AFP) – World number one Novak Djokovic of Serbia and 11th-ranked Canadian Milos Raonic will lead their teams, whose rosters were revealed on Tuesday, into a Davis Cup semi-final showdown next week.
The tie, set to be played on an indoor clay court before a sold-out crowd of 15,000 at Belgrade Arena, will see Montenegro-born Raonic join Frank Dancevic and the doubles duo of Daniel Nestor and Vasek Pospisil in the Canadian lineup.
Six-time Grand Slam champion Djokovic, who sparked a 2010 Serbian run to the title, will be joined by 21st-ranked Janko Tipsarevic, doubles veteran Nenad Zimonjic and second-time Davis Cup member Dusan Lajovic for the September 13-15 matchup.
The winner will advance to November's final against either Argentina or the Czech Republic.
Djokovic shrugged off Canada's East European connections -- Raonic was born in the Montenegrin capital of Podgorica, Pospisil's parents are of Czech descent while Dancevic's father is Croatian.
Doubles specialist Nestor was born in Belgrade.
"Let's not get into that subject, because somebody can misunderstand what I'm saying," said Djokovic.
"I think that most of them have some kind of connection to our country. But they are playing away for first time. It's quite different, because they will have to adjust to different conditions, and home advantage in Davis Cup means a lot.
"We haven't played at home for I think two years, so I think Belgrade and Serbia are really waiting to see high-level tennis in the arena where we won that big title in 2010."
Serbia will be without Viktor Troicki, who is serving an 18-month doping ban handed down by the International Tennis Federation (ITF).
"Unfortunately we don't have Viktor who is in a very particular situation. Hopefully he can be there to be with us to support us and we can get it to another final."