In a very tough draw, India were pitted against world No. 4 Serbia, for their first round tie in the elite World Group of the Davis Cup. For India, who retained their World Group berth by beating Brazil 3-2 in the play-offs, it will be an away tie from March 4-6 next year. The draw was made in Brussels on Wednesday.
The formidable Serbians have already qualfied for the this year's final after beating Czech Republic 3-2. They will clash with France in the Championship tie in December.
Serbia, top seeds in the elite 16-team World Group, have world No.2 Novak Djokovic and two other top-50 players in Janko Tipsarevic (34) and Viktor Troicki (47), apart from Nenad Zimonjic, world No. 3 in doubles.
India do not have any top-100 player, though Somdev Devvarman (117) and Rohan Bopanna (473) showed that in Davis Cup rankings counts for little as they disposed off challenges from world No. 27 Thomaz Bellucci and 74th ranked Ricardo Mello, respectively in the play-offs.
India's non-playing captain S P Misra rued luck was not on their side but vowed to put up a fight against the strong opponents.
“It's the worst possible draw for us. We could have got a home tie, had any of the other five teams from Spain, Russia, France, USA and Czech Republic been drawn against us,” Misra said.
“Nevertheless, we will fight it out. Nothing is decided till you play the last rubber. The players will get a chance to prepare for the tie playing big tournaments such as Australian Open. So we can hope that things may change in the run up to the them,” he said.
Since it will be winter during that time in Serbia, they may host the tie indoors. “That's what we presume. Hard courts are suitable. Let's see how it pans out,” Misra said.
India and Serbia are tied 1-1, having met twice before in the tournament.