Djokovic out of Davis Cup semi-final
Originally published on: 16/09/10 10:54
Novak Djokovic has been forced to withdraw from the Davis Cup semi-final against the Czech Republic this weekend through illness.
The world No.2, who just days earlier was beaten by Rafael Nadal in Monday’s delayed men’s final, was expected to anchor Serbia’s bid to reach their first final as an independent nation in Belgrade, but is suffering with gastroenteritis.
Viktor Troicki has replaced Djokovic in the line-up alongside Janko Tipsarevic for the singles rubbers against last year’s beaten finalists Tomas Berdych and Radek Stepanek.
France face Argentina in their first semi-final since 2004. In contrast, the South Americans are bidding to reach their third final in five years.
“You’re not playing for yourself, you’re playing for your flag,” said Gael Monfils, who will team up with Michael Llodra, Richard Gasquet and Gilles Simon.
“You have your whole country behind you, an unbelievable crowd, your friends on the side, your captain on the chair. There’s a different spirit.”
Roger Federer has skipped Switzerland’s relegation play-off tie with Kazakhstan to rest as he prepares for the latter stages of the season.
“I need some extra time to relax after the intense weeks in North America so I can finish the year strongly,” said the 29-year-old.
The United States travel to Colombia for their play-off match as they bid to preserve their World Group status, having dropped out of the elite group just once since it was introduced in 1981.
Andy Roddick, the most successful American Davis Cup player since John McEnroe, announced that he would not play in Davis Cup competition this season, leaving John Isner, Mardy Fish, Sam Querrey and youngster Ryan Harrison to face the South Americans in captain Patrick McEnroe’s final tie.
The other play-off matches feature Israel vs Austria, Germany vs South Africa, Sweden vs Italy, India vs Brazil and Australia vs Belgium.