Bangalore: Looking fit, though a bit tired, Somdev Devvarman Monday said the absence of World No.1 Novak Djokovic from the Serbian team will definitely improve India's chances of winning the Davis Cup World Group play-off here this weekend.
Having arrived Monday from Shanghai where he lost the final of an ATP challenger tournament Sunday to lower-ranked Yoshihito Nishioka of Japan, Devvarman wasted no time getting down to practice and said he has been playing better in the recent weeks.
"I have not been having the best of seasons with injuries and stuff. But I have been playing well off late. I had a good week in Shanghai, spent a lot of time on court, came through some tough situations," said the 29-year old, currently ranked 144.
Devvarman, who reached a career-best ranking of 62 in 2011 before being beset with injuries, will be spear-heading India's Davis Cup challenge against Serbia. He expected a tough tie though Djokovic's absence would definitely be to his team's advantage.
"I have mixed feelings (about Djokovic not playing). It would have been sweet had the World No.1 been here. It would have been good for tennis and the fans. Obviously, our chances are a lot better with him not playing but their singles players are higher ranked than us (Devvarman and Yuki Bhambri). So we got to play really well," said Devvarman.
On 41-year-old Leander Paes' late inclusion, Devvarman felt that the veteran's presence was a plus point for India and it could mean one point. Paes will be partnering Rohan Bopanna in the doubles.
"It's good for us that Leander will be playing. No need to talk about his Davis Cup record. He is a fantastic player and the doubles will be our best point," he said.