The ITF has announced the teams that will contest the Davis Cup by BNP Paribas World Group semifinals, World Group play-offs and Zone Group events on 13-15 September.
World No. 1 Djokovic tops the billing as he looks to guide Serbia back into the final for the first time since 2010. Djokovic has won all three of the Davis Cup singles rubbers he has contested in 2013 but could face a journey into the unknown against big-hitting Canadian Milos Raonic.
The two have never met on the professional tour and 22-year-old Raonic knows that he will have to play an integral role in the tie if Canada is to pull off an historic result.
Raonic is riding a seven-match winning streak in Davis Cup singles rubbers, with all of those wins coming on a hard court. The semifinal tie, however, will be played in the Belgrade Arena on clay, a surface on which Raonic has a 2-2 career record in the competition. But the Canadian has a head start on Djokovic, at least in preparing for the tie, with the Serb still in the thick of the action on hard courts at the US Open.
Janko Tipsarevic makes his Davis Cup return at No. 2 for Serbia having missed their two ties this year. The 29-year-old Belgrade native has struggled to find top gear this year, slipping to No. 21 in the world. He had won just two of his last seven Tour-level matches going into the US Open, but rediscovered some form in New York by winning three matches in a row before falling to David Ferrer in the round of 16.
Canada’s No. 2 Vasek Pospisil has enjoyed a rapid ascent on the tour of late, defeating two top 20 players en route to his first ATP Masters 1000 semifinal in Montreal and climbing to a career-high No. 40 in the process. The 23-year-old right-hander, who has played three five-set encounters in his last three Davis Cup rubbers, will hope to rise to the occasion again in the semifinals.
Czech Republic has put its faith in almost the same unit that won the 100th Davis Cup Final in Prague last November as the reigning champions take on an Argentine team that will be without its talisman David Nalbandian, who failed to recover from shoulder surgery in time to play.
Tomas Berdych, who has been in blistering form of late with a semifinal finish at Cincinnati and three straight-set wins at Flushing Meadows, will once again look to lead his side into the final against the same team that the Czechs shocked in Buenos Aires just over 12 months ago.
The big-hitting Czech will be ably supported by Lukas Rosol and Radek Stepanek, with the latter likely teaming up with Berdych to play doubles in what has grown to become one of the most formidable doubles duos in Davis Cup history.
Argentina have fielded a team full of passion and enthusiasm for the competition, but with little to speak of in terms of hard court form.
Juan Monaco has been struggling to replicate the success that saw him break into the Top 10 last year and he along with Carlos Berlocq, Horacio Zeballos and Leonardo Mayer will need to be at their very best if they are to derail the defending champions.
In the World Group play-offs, Spain will be boosted by the return of world No. 2 Rafael Nadal as they look to maintain their place in the top tier with a home tie against Ukraine.
Great Britain has named a strong team to play Croatia in Umag in the hope that they will be able to fight back into the World Group for the first time since 2008.
The Brits will be led by world No. 3 Andy Murray and Dan Evans, the former holds two Grand Slam titles while the latter burst onto the scene by becoming the first British male qualifier to reach the 3rd round at the US Open since Andrew Castle in 1987.
Poland's Jerzy Janowicz, who reached the Wimbledon semifinals in July, fronts what is a very strong home team to take on Australia in Warsaw. The Australians, meanwhile, have named Bernard Tomic and Lleyton Hewitt among their line-up.
Stanislas Wawrinka, the in-form Swiss, will lead his country against Ecuador in what is, on paper at least, a one-sided encounter.
Three ties that will be much closer are Netherlands v Austria, Germany v Brazil and Japan v Colombia, all of which have named strong teams.
The Belgian and Israeli teams were announced on Monday owing to the fact that the tie starts a day earlier.
The full nominations are listed below:
WORLD GROUP SEMIFINALS
SERBIA v CANADA
Venue: Belgrade Arena, Belgrade, SRB (clay – indoor)
Captain: Bogdan Obradovic
Captain: Martin Laurendeau
CZECH REPUBLIC v ARGENTINA
Venue: O2 Arena, Prague, CZE (hard – indoor)
Captain: Jaroslav Navratil
Captain: Martin Jaite
WORLD GROUP PLAY-OFFS
SPAIN v UKRAINE
Venue: Caja Magica, Madrid, ESP (clay – outdoor)
Captain: Alex Corretja
Captain: Mikhail Filima
NETHERLANDS v AUSTRIA
Venue: MartiniPlaza, Groningen, NED (clay – indoor)
Jesse Huta Galung
Thiemo de Bakker
Captain: Jan Siemerink
Captain: Clemens Trimmel
CROATIA v GREAT BRITAIN
Venue: Stadion Stella Maris, Umag, CRO (clay – outdoor)
Captain: Zeljko Krajan
Captain: Leon Smith
SWITZERLAND v ECUADOR
Venue: Patinoire du Littoral, Neuchatel, SUI (hard – indoor)
Captain: Severin Luthi
Captain: Raul Viver
GERMANY v BRAZIL
Venue: Ratiopharm Arena, Ulm, GER (hard – indoor)
Captain: Carsten Arriens
Rogerio Dutra Silva
Captain: Joao Zwetsch
POLAND v AUSTRALIA
Venue: Torwar Hall, Warsaw, POL (clay – indoor)
Captain: Radoslaw Szymanik
Captain: Patrick Rafter
BELGIUM v ISRAEL
Venue: Lotto Arena, Antwerp, BEL (clay – indoor)
Captain: Johan van Herck
Captain: Eyal Ran
JAPAN v COLOMBIA
Venue: Ariake Coliseum, Tokyo, JPN (hard – outdoor)
Captain: Minoru Ueda
Captain: Mauricio Hadad
AMERICAS ZONE GROUP I – SECOND ROUND PLAY-OFF
DOMINICAN REPUBLIC v CHILE
Venue: Centro Nacional de Tenis Parque del Este, Santo Domingo Este, DOM (hard – outdoor)
Captain: Rafael Moreno
Captain: Belus Prajoux
ASIA/OCEANIA ZONE GROUP I – SECOND ROUND PLAY-OFF
CHINESE TAIPEI v INDONESIA
Venue: Kaohsiung Yangming Tennis Courts, Kaohsiung City, TPE (hard – outdoor)
Captain: Tsai Chia-Yen
David Agung Susanto
Wisnu Adi Nugroho
Captain: Febi Widhiyanto
EUROPE/AFRICA ZONE GROUP I – FIRST ROUND PLAY-OFF
SLOVENIA v SOUTH AFRICA
Venue: Park Tivoli, Ljubljana, SLO (clay – outdoor)
Captain: Blaz Trupej
Rik de Voest
Captain: John-Laffnie de Jager
SLOVAK REPUBLIC v SWEDEN
Venue: Aegon Arena, Bratislava, SVK (hard – indoor)
Captain: Miloslav Mecir
Captain: Fredrik Rosengren
AMERICAS ZONE GROUP II – THIRD ROUND
EL SALVADOR v VENEZUELA
Venue: Federacion Salvadorena de Tenis, Ciudad Merliot, ESA (hard – outdoor)
Captain: Roberto Salazar
Luis David Martinez
Captain: William Campos
ASIA/OCEANIA ZONE GROUP II – THIRD ROUND
PHILIPPINES v NEW ZEALAND
Venue: Plantation Bay Resort & Spa, Lapu-Lapu City, PHI (clay – outdoor)
Francis Casey Alcantara
Captain: Roland Kraut
Captain: Alistair Hunt
EUROPE/AFRICA ZONE GROUP II – THIRD ROUND
LATVIA v FINLAND
Venue: Arena Riga, Riga, LAT (hard – indoor)
Captain: Karlis Lejnejeks
Captain : Kim Tiilikainen
MOLDOVA v PORTUGAL
Venue: Manejul de Atletica Usoara, Chisinau, MDA (hard – indoor)
Captain: Iurie Gorban
Captain: Pedro Cordeiro