Davis Cup - Serbia tipped for bright Davis Cup future
Serbia have entered the Davis Cup elite after reaching the final and are likely to stay there for a long time, former Yugoslavia coach Radmilo Armenulic said.
Serbia beat the Czech Republic 3-2 in an exciting contest to set up a showdown with nine-time winners France on December 3-5 in the Belgrade Arena, where the Serbians have won all four home ties since they reached the top tier in 2008.
"The most important thing in the Davis Cup is to stay in the World Group as long as possible and this Serbian team can do it," said Armenulic, who guided the former Yugoslavia to the semi-finals in 1988, 1989 and 1991.
"Serbia can keep competing at the highest level because we have a team leader in world number two Novak Djokovic and an outstanding crew in the other players," he said in the wake of the result.
"Reaching the final is a massive stepping stone for the future, hopefully we can win the trophy at the first time of asking although it will be a big ask because the French have a very strong team," he added.
While Djokovic was instrumental in steering Serbia to the last four, it was world number 37 Janko Tipsarevic who stole the show against the Czechs, winning both his singles - including the decisive fifth rubber.
Having beaten world number seven Tomas Berdych on Friday, Tipsarevic brushed aside Radek Stepanek in straight sets on Sunday after Djokovic, who pulled out of his opening singles through illness and fatigue, had kept Serbia in the tie.
Armenulic heaped praise on the flamboyant 26-year old Tipsarevic, whose hobbies include DJ-ing in a popular Belgrade night club.
"Tipsarevic is a brilliant team player, he has always performed well for Serbia and against the Czech Republic he played the best tennis of his life," said Armenulic.
"Against the French though, Serbia will probably be looking for two points from Djokovic and one more from another singles player to win the tie.
"Their overall quality aside, France are exceptionally strong in the doubles but Serbia's advantage will be playing in front of a full house in the Arena."