Djokovic-less Serbs Advance Past India In Davis Cup




Somdev Devvarman

Somdev Devvarman

Defending champion Serbia reached the Davis Cup quarterfinals by beating a relentless Indian team 4-1 in their first-round series on Sunday at Spens Sports Center. Viktor Troicki defeated Somdev Devvarman 6-4, 6-2, 7-5 for an incontrovertible 3-1 lead in the best-of-five tie.

Serbia will next play Sweden away. Serbia was without its top player as Novak Djokovic skipped the match to prepare for tournaments in Indian Wells and Miami citing fatigue having recently won the Australian Open and Dubai. Indian doubles standouts Leander Paes and Mahesh Bhupathi pulled out of this tie again, joining top Serb Novak Djokovic on the sidelines.

Serbia defeated France in last year’s final to win the Davis Cup, will next play Sweden, which beat Russia in the first round. Captained by Bogdan Obradovic, the Serbs, will travel to Sweden for a Davis Cup quarterfinal showdown in July.

Teenager Yuki Bhambri and Karan Rastogi replaced the Grand Slam-winning duo, who have opted out due to wrist and back injuries. The 37-year-old Paes’ wrist is in a cast and he’ll be of action at least 10 days, making him questionable for Indian Wells. Bhupathi is said to have aggravated an older injury last week in Dubai.

In the opening singles on Friday, Troicki overcame double specialist Rohan Bopanna 6-3, 6-3, 5-7, 3-6, 6-3 and Devvarman downed Tipsarevic 7-5, 7-5, 7-6 (3). In the doubles Saturday, Nenad Zimonjic and Ilia Bozoljac rallied to beat Bopanna and Devvarman 4-6, 6-3, 6-4, 7-6 (10)

Troicki, the hero of Serbia’s 3-2 victory against France after winning the decisive match against Michael Llodra, said the Sunday single match was “psychologically tough for me because if we had gone to a fifth match in the series, who knows what would have happened.”

India is a three-time Davis Cup runner-up, with its last final appearance coming in 1987.

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Nupoor Bansal

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Hey, I'm Nupoor Bansal, 20, currently pursuing Journalism from DU. I have always been immensely interested in both playing and watching sports. Like most other cricket fanatics Sachin Tendulkar is THE God for me. Badminton, Tennis and Football are the other sports that interest me.

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