Hewitt believes Australia can beat favourites Serbia

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BELGRADE, Sep 18 (Reuters) Former world number one Lleyton Hewitt believes Australia can defy the odds to beat Serbia in their Davis Cup world group play-off in Belgrade this weekend.

''The Serbians are the favourites on current form and Novak Djokovic probably expects to win both singles and the doubles so it's going to be a huge challenge for us,'' Hewitt, now ranked 21st on the ATP tour, told reporters today.

''We have played a lot of big matches in the Davis Cup over the years and we would be disappointed to be relegated to the Asia zone,'' he said.

''We know what to expect and what we need to do.'' Australia have won 28 Davis Cup titles and were relegated from the world group only once, in 1996.

Hewitt acknowledged they would have to produce a flawless performance to beat Serbia, who have high hopes of reaching the top division for the first time with world number three Djokovic leading their challenge on home clay.

''It will be a very tough tie but we are making all the right preparations and looking forward to it,'' Hewitt said.

Australia coach John Fitzgerald has yet to decide whether to field world number 91 Paul Luczak or number 94 Chris Guccione alongside Hewitt in the singles rubbers from Friday.

Reuters BJR GC1844

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