Serbia is to host Spain for the first time in the Davis Cup with a place in the last four up for grabs. The tie will be played in the “Aleksandar Nikolic Arena” from 7-9 April, on a hardcourt surface. The first singles match starts on Friday, 7 April at 3pm.
The teams have met on one previous occasion, with Spain easing to victory in Benidorm in 2009. Novak Djoković, Viktor Troicki, Janko Tipsarević and Nenad Zimonjić played for Serbia against a Spanish side featuring Rafael Nadal, Feliciano Lopez, David Ferrer and Tommy Robredo. On that occasion Spain won 4:1 with Rafael Nadal and David Ferrer both beating Novak Djoković in straight sets. Eight years and 11 Grand Slam titles later, however, Serbia’s No. 1 is an altogether different proposition.
Djoković and Troicki guided Serbia to a win at home against Russia in February, while Spain prevailed over 2005 champions, Croatia, 3:2 in Osijek.
The Serbian Team
Serbia’s top-ranked male tennis player, Novak Djoković, will lead the national team in this year’s quarter-final battle. Djoković will be back in action after pulling out of the Miami Open due to an elbow injury. In addition to Djoković and player/head coach, Nenad Zimonjić, who is world doubles No. 56, the Serbian team also includes world No. 38, Viktor Troicki, and world No. 85, Dušan Lajović.
The Spanish Team
The Spanish team, five-time Davis Cup winners, will arrive in Belgrade without their best player, Rafael Nadal. Currently ranked at No. 5 in the world, Nadal, who also missed the first-round victory over Croatia, had already hinted that he would not take part in the matchup against Serbia, which coincides with a required rest period unless the tie were to be played on clay – it will be played on hardcourt. Spain will also be without its second-highest ranked player, Roberto Bautista Agut. The team will be led by world No. 19, Pablo Carreno Busta, who will be joined by Albert Ramos-Vinolas (No. 24), doubles specialist Marc Lopez (doubles ranking No. 16) and a promising youngster, Jaume Munar (No. 245), who stepped in for Marcel Granollers (who retired due to personal issues).
Conchita Martinez’s team will travel to Belgrade as they look to continue to re-establish themselves among the competition’s elite after two years and also try to get through the semi-finals for the first time since 2012.
In the semi-finals the winner of this tie will face the winners of the France vs. Great Britain matchup.
Tickets are available at www.eventim.rs.