Serbia Davis Cup team captain wanted to have good return players in the doubles rubber and that's why he decided to have Filip Krajinovic play alongside Novak Djokovic. Djokovic and Nikola Cacic were initially nominated for the doubles rubber against Croatia but Troicki made the last minute change.
Troicki's change didn't work out well for the team as Nikola Mektic and Mate Pavic beat Djokovic and Krajinovic 7-5 6-1 to give Croatia a final spot at the Davis Cup Finals. "We knew the doubles would be the toughest for us.
We wanted to have good return players on the court, players who play singles and who will be aggressive on return. Unfortunately, Mektic and Pavic are ranked at No. 1 and they played at a really top level for doubles. That is why they are in the first place," Troicki told Sport Klub.
Djokovic got the job done but Dusan Lajovic didn't
The Serbs were hoping it would not come down to the doubles rubber. Lajovic was the favorite to beat Borna Gojo in the opening rubber but he picked up a surprise defeat to the world No.
279. Djokovic beat Marin Cilic to force a decisive rubber but the Wimbledon doubles champions were too strong for Djokovic and Krajinovic. "Yes, our chance was in the singles. Novak managed to do the job, but unfortunately in the first match of the singles we didn't use the chance we should have taken because I think we were the favorites.
Filip was not ready since the match with Austria because he stretched a muscle. That's why he didn't play in the singles. I was hoping that the combinations of the two single players would work out in the doubles because of the mentioned return, and that was the reason for the change.
Also, Novak and Filip usually played together," Troicki added. Mektic and Pavic were thrilled after beating Djokovic and Krajinovic. "He [Djokovic] was showing that he was number one in the world in singles," said Mektic. “But luckily we didn’t play that sport, we played the sport with four people. We’re so happy."