13 years after shaving his head after Davis Cup win, Novak Djokovic warns Serbia Captain Viktor Troicki of the hazards of their daring promise

Captain Viktor Troicki has declared Novak Djokovic the hero of Serbia. Without the world’s number one tennis player’s presence, Serbia fell short of advancing beyond the knockout phase last year. It lost to Croatia in the 2022 semifinals. Serbia’s lone Davis Cup title came with a squad led by Djokovic in 2010.

This season, Serbia is fortunate to have the 36-year-old star, but they have pledged to do the unthinkable if they manage to win the title in the coming days.

Novak Djokovic, Viktor Troicki confirm their audacious promise

It has been an intense few weeks for Novak Djokovic, but his best is yet to come. With Serbia in the semifinals of the Davis Cup, Novak Djokovic is close to realizing his dream. Winning the title is a few rounds away, but the Serbian team has a bizarre plan if they do win.

Novak Djokovic, who won the Nitto ATP Finals recently and became the first player in tennis history to complete 400 weeks as the world number one. Yesterday, the world no. 1 saw his country through the knockout phase, as his victory over Cameron Norrie eliminated Great Britain from the Davis Cup.

Novak Djokovic beats Cameron Norrie to knock Great Britain out

In the lead-up to the clash with Italy, Captain Viktor Troicki has announced a special challenge to his team. The conditions were simple: “If Serbia won, all members would have to skydive out of a plane.” Novak added some lightness to the interview, as he joked, “If you want to live, then don’t win it.”

With the remarkable form displayed by the 24-time Grand Slam champion from Serbia, the Serbian team will undoubtedly view their upcoming match against Italy with optimism. Therefore, Novak Djokovic is set to once again cross paths with Jannik Sinner, marking their third encounter in a span of just 11 days.

Notably, their most recent clash took place during the ATP Finals. Serbia clinched their solitary Davis Cup title with the imposing presence of Novak Djokovic and Troicki in their ranks. Both Serbian legends will be striving to replicate their impressive 2010 performance once again this year.

Serbians fulfilled their vows of shaving hair in 2010 Davis Cup

In 2010, Serbia won the Davis Cup with Novak Djokovic leading the team. Before the semifinal win the team had promised they would shave their head if they won the title, however, in the final, they edged past the Czech Republic 3-2 to win the title and they shaved their head as promised. After the victor, Djokovic admitted that he didn’t want to have his head shaved for too long but added it was all worth it following Serbia’s 2010 Davis Cup win.

In 2010 victory for Serbia remains their lone title win in the Davis Cup. In 2023, they have another chance to claim the title again. During a conversation with the ITF, Djokovic recounted Serbia’s run to the 2010 Davis Cup. Firstly, Djokovic was shown the clip of him beating USA’s John Isner in a very tight first-round match that year. “Match point… against USA in Belgrade Arena. It was the first round on clay, five sets against John Isner. Nikola Pilic, who was with us, it was a big win to start the winning year for us at the Davis Cup at home against one of the nations that had the most triumphs.

“It was a huge win playing Isner on clay. It was so difficult to play him anywhere. It was a very tight match. I remember I was so nervous to close out that match as that was obviously the match to win the tie,” Djokovic recalled.

Novak Djokovic’s Serbia will face Jannik Sinner’s Italy for a place in the Davis Cup semifinal. The tie would be crucial with the likelihood of Jannik Sinner meeting his rival Djokovic, who defeated him at the Nitto ATP Finals in Turin.

Victor Okechukwu

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