Davis Cup: Djokovic wary of Russian threat

Novak Djokovic, World No. 2, after a disappointing second round defeat at the Australian Open, returned to his homeland, Serbia, for its Davis Cup tie against Russia.

Novak Djokovic is eager to help Serbia win against Russia in the Davis Cup tie in his home soil.   -  Reuters

Novak Djokovic admitted on Thursday he was wary of Russia as he returns for Serbia in Davis Cup World Group first round action this weekend.

The World No. 2 will take on Daniil Medvedev on his favoured hard court surface at home in the southern fortress town of Nis on Friday after Viktor Troicki opens against Russia's Karen Khachanov.

"Russia are a young, motivated team and we must not underestimate them under any circumstances," warned Djokovic, the only top ten player featuring this weekend.

Djokovic said he welcomed the return to his homeland after a disappointing second round defeat at the Australian Open to rank outsider Denis Istomin.

"It's a special feeling when we are together playing for our country," he said. "It's a very special atmosphere every time we get together."

The fixtures are reversed on Sunday with Djokovic playing Khachanov, with Saturday's doubles featuring new player-coach Nenad Zimonjic.

"I'm sure with the home fans behind us we will get a major win here," Zimonjic said.

Russia won its previous meeting in 2008, defeating a team including Troicki and Djokovic.

  Dugout videos