Djokovic out of Davis Cup
Novak Djokovic is confident his Serbia team-mates can win their Davis Cup clash against India without him.
The world No. 3 is unbeaten in 2011 after victories at the Australian Open and Dubai, and has opted to skip the clash in Novi Sad in order to prepare for the US hardcourt season which begins at Indian Wells on March 10.
"Together with my teammates and Davis Cup captain, I decided to rest this time. I am confident that they will win this tie and they have my full support," Djokovic said in a statement on his website.
"I feel physically well, fit, and mentally motivated to do even more coming up to Indian Wells and Miami where I haven't done well in the last years. So I really want to work hard and get some good results in the US."
Djokovic's team-mate Viktor Troicki, who was the hero for Serbia in December when they beat France to win the Davis Cup first time, will have the added responsibility of being the No. 1 ranked player in Djokovic's absence. Troicki will open the proceedings in Novi Sad against Rohan Bopanna, with Janko Tipsarevic facing Indian No. 1 Somdev Devvarman.
World No. 1 Rafael Nadal returns to Davis Cup action for the first time in over a year as a strong Spain side travel to Belgium. Despite home advantage, Belgium firmly hold the tag of underdogs with the 2009 champions boasting three top-ten players in their ranks as David Ferrer joins Nadal on singles duty, while world No. 9 Fernando Verdasco links up with Feliciano Lopez in the doubles.
Former world No. 1 Jim Courier makes his debut as USA captain against Chile on the outdoor clay courts in Santiago. Courier is unable to call upon the services of Sam Querrey who has a shoulder injury, but is boosted by the return of Andy Roddick to Davis Cup action for the first time since March 2009.
Robin Soderling leads Sweden in their clash against Russia in Boras. Fourth-ranked Soderling lines up alongside world No. 749 Joachim Johansson against a Russian team featuring Igor Andreev and Teymuraz Gabashvili.
Jurgen Melzer will play on all three days for Austria when they host 2010 runners-up France in a converted airport hangar in Vienna. France, who are without Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Gael Monfils, are led by Gilles Simon and Jeremy Chardy.
Tomas Berdych is in action for Czech Republic against Kazakhstan who play in the World Group for the first time, while in the remainder of the World Group first round ties, last year's semi-finalists Croatia host Germany and Romania face Argentina on their return to the World Group.