BELGRADE Serbia's Janko Tipsarevic faces a race against time to get fit for next month's Davis Cup final against the Czech Republic after being hampered by a foot injury.
The world number 28 has won only one match on the ATP Tour since reaching the fourth round of the U.S. Open and he has now decided to focus on getting himself fit for the team finale rather than limping from tournament to tournament.
"The ATP season, which has been below par anyway, is over for me because of constant pain in my left foot and my only ambition in life at the moment is to be fit for the Davis Cup final," Tipsarevic said on his official Facebook account.
"I have been battling this injury for a while and it's no fun playing in so much pain, hence I have to rest in the upcoming period so that I make a full recovery in time for the Nov 15-17 event."
The Serbians, who won their maiden Davis Cup title in 2010 when they beat France in an epic final in the Belgrade Arena, will be at home to the Czechs at the same venue.
Losing Tipsarevic would be a bitter blow for Serbia as Viktor Troicki is also likely to miss the final after being banned for 18 months by the International Tennis Federation (ITF) in July for not providing a blood sample at the Monte Carlo Masters in April.
Troicki, who won the decisive singles for Serbia in their 2010 success, appealed to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in August, which said the procedure would take "around four months" to produce a decision.
The absence of both players would pile the pressure on Serbia's world number two Novak Djokovic to win both his singles rubbers and team up with veteran Nenad Zimonjic in the doubles, with teenager Dusan Lajovic looking as the only viable singles replacement.
(Writing by Zoran Milosavljevic in Belgrade, editing by Pritha Sarkar)