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Serbia, even without Djokovic, can count on No. 13-ranked Janko Tipsarevic and Troicki against Argentina.

That combination was enough for defending champion Serbia to finish the first day of last year’s semifinal against the Czech Republic tied 1-1. Djokovic, who was a late withdrawal from the Friday singles, returned to play in the doubles and the Sunday singles in a 3-2 win.

“Last year I found out three hours before the match that I would play,” Troicki said. “But this time, I’m aware that he might not play if he’s not right.”

Serbia captain Bogdan Obradovic said Djokovic needs to assess his condition.

Novak does not even need training here, just that half an hour before the match,” Obradovic said. “So huge is his confidence, we can all feel that.”

Tipsarevic plays 2009 U.S. Open champion Juan Martin del Potro in Friday’s singles.

“We have come here to win,” Argentina captain Tito Vazquez said. “It will be very hard, but we are ready.”

In other Davis Cup matches, Roger Federer, beaten in five sets by Djokovic in the U.S. Open semifinals, is scheduled to play singles and doubles for Switzerland in a World Group playoff against Australia on grass in Sydney.

Friday’s opening singles matches will feature Federer against former No. 1 Lleyton Hewitt, now Australia’s second-ranked player behind 18-year-old Bernard Tomic.

In their last Davis Cup match in 2003, Hewitt recovered from two sets and a break down to beat Federer and clinch a place in the final for Australia.

“It’s one of my greatest memories,” said Hewitt, who lost his next 15 matches against Federer until last year’s win in Halle.

Federer said his loss to Djokovic in last week’s U.S. Open semifinals was “nothing” compared to the feeling he experienced after the 2003 loss to Hewitt.

Like Nadal and Djokovic, Federer is short on preparation and has had only two days’ practice on the grass courts at Royal Sydney Golf Club.

“I’m not sore, sorry to disappoint you,” the 16-time Grand Slam winner told Australian reporters. “I’m feeling good, really good actually.”

Fourth-ranked Andy Murray, who lost to Nadal in the U.S. Open semifinals, should have an easier time as Britain faces Hungary in Europe/Africa Group Two.

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