His name is Dusan Lajovic and this weekend in the final of the Davis Cup by BNP Paribas he is going to experience the time of his life when he makes his live debut for Serbia against defending champion nation, the Czech Republic.
He replaces Janko Tipsarevic who has a chronic heel injury. The guy has never played a live rubber in Davis Cup by BNP Paribas before. In fact the only time he has played a Davis Cup match was a dead rubber in 2012 in the first round against Sweden. Now he’s being thrown to the sharks and will play Tomas Berdych on the first day of the final.
“Considering this would be the biggest match of my career, it does feel like that but the situation is like this and we all need to accept it is and do our best,” said Lajovic. “(Tomas) is the toughest player I have ever played. From the other side, the good thing is that he doesn’t know me or even how I look till a few days ago, so from that side I might have that advantage from the opening games of the match. I just hope to give my best and hopefully surprise him.”
Oh my. Don’t you feel sorry of him? By the way you pronounce his name Do-san Lay-o-vich.
Nicknamed “Dutzi”, he is 23 years old and has never gone past 114 in the world rankings and coming into this final he is ranked 117. In 2013 he played 30 tournaments, I was just exhausted counting this back on his player activity. He never got past the first round in a Tour level main draw but on the Challenger circuit he won two titles, in Korea and Italy. He was a finalist on another occasion in France and reached the semis of better at another six events.
The guy has no idea what it is going to be like when he walks on court. He lower legs are going to feel like jelly and the nerves are likely to be overwhelming. The closest he has come to being near such a big crowd was sitting on the bench during the 2010 final.
“It’s hard to imagine but we all play tennis for this kind of moment but sure I didn’t experience a crowd like this – it will be one of the craziest moments in my life,” he said.
So let’s take a comparison look at the two Serbian singles players:
PRIZEMONEY 2013 $11,197,947 $104,866
TITLES 2013 7 0
EVENTS PLAYED IN 2013 19 30
CURRENT RANKING 2 117
HIGHEST RANKING 1 114
PLAYS Right-handed Right-handed
COUNTRY Serbia Serbia
BORN Belgrade Belgrade