Serbia's Davis Cup hopes end miserably after Novak Djokovic's absence

Djokovic wasn't available for Serbia's Davis Cup qualifiers tie versus Slovakia.

by Dzevad Mesic
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Serbia's Davis Cup hopes end miserably after Novak Djokovic's absence
© Getty Images Sport - Clive Brunskill

Serbia's chances of making a deep Davis Cup run were short-lived as Novak Djokovic's absence resulted in the Serbian team getting destroyed by Slovakia. 

In early January, it was confirmed that Djokovic would not be representing Serbia in their Davis Cup tie versus Slovakia. However, the belief was that even without Djokovic, Serbia would have a good chance of beating Slovakia in a home tie and progressing into the Davis Cup Finals group stage in September.

Before the start of the tie, Serbian Davis Cup team captain Viktor Troicki said his belief was that Serbia had "a great team" that could "really do a lot" with Djokovic later this year.

Viktor Troicki and Novak Djokovic
Viktor Troicki and Novak Djokovic© Getty Images Sport - Clive Brunskill
 

Although Serbia entered the tie as the slight favorites against Slovakia, they ended up getting demolished in Kraljevo as Slovakia won with a 4-0 score. After Miomir Kecmanovic lost to Lukas Klein and Dusan Lajovic got beaten by Alex Molcan, Serbia's chances of beating Slovakia ended after Klein and Igor Zelenay defeated Kecmanovic and Nikola Cacic in the doubles match. After Slovakia already sealed a win over Serbia, the fourth rubber was also played as Lukas Pokorny won via a Laslo Djere retirement to seal a 4-0 win for Slovakia.

Troicki believed Serbia could win the title with Djokovic 

"Same story again. We have a great team, but everything depends on Novak, of course. If he is on the team, we can really do a lot," Troicki told Sportal earlier this week when asked about Serbia's 2024 Davis Cup chances. 

However, Troicki acknowledged that Serbia would first have to defeat Slovakia but also noted that they would feel extremely well if they beat Slovakia and Djokovic joined them later this year.

"I hope that we will qualify for the group stage in September, and there a lot depends on the opponent, the draw, whether Novak will be with us. If we get to Malaga, again, we believe that Nole can join us. We believe that if we are complete we can expect a lot, but then again there are great teams, we have seen that," Troicki said.

Viktor Troicki and Novak Djokovic
Viktor Troicki and Novak Djokovic© Getty Images Sport - Aitor Alcalde
 

For Serbia, the loss to Slovakia was probably a wake-up call and something that showed them how much they need Djokovic.

Davis Cup Novak Djokovic
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