|Novak Djokovic of Serbia celebrates after winning his semi-final match against Roger Federer of Switzerland at the U.S. Open tennis tournament in New York, September 10, 2011. (REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz)
BELGRADE, SERBIA - Hometown hero Novak Djokovic pulled out of Friday's opening singles rubber in the Davis Cup semifinal between reigning champion Serbia and visiting Argentina.
Djokovic was scheduled to meet former Wimbledon runner-up David Nalbandian on Day 1, but the weary star, who had been complaining about jet lag this week after capturing his first-ever U.S. Open title on Monday in New York before returning home to his beloved Serbia, decided that Friday was not an option.
The world No. 1 star Djokovic is an amazing 64-2 this year, including three of the four Grand Slam titles. He led the Serbs to their first-ever Davis Cup title last year when they beat France in the final here in Djokovic's native Belgrade.
Viktor Troicki replaced Djokovic on Friday, but Djokovic is perhaps available for singles play on Sunday if he is needed in the best-of-five tie at Belgrade Arena.
Troicki won the fifth and deciding rubber against the French in last year's dramatic finale.
Friday's second singles bout is supposed to pit the hosts' Janko Tipsarevic against Argentine slugger Juan Martin del Potro, the 2009 U.S. Open champion.
Saturday's doubles match will pit a Serbian duo of Tipsarevic and Nenad Zimonjic versus an Argentine pairing of Juan Ignacio Chela and Juan Monaco, while Sunday's reverse singles currently call for Djokovic to tangle with del Potro and Tipsarevic to take on the former top-five star Nalbandian.
Argentina, captained by Tito Vazquez, is still seeking that elusive first-ever Davis Cup championship.
Serbia is part of the former Yugoslavia, which beat Argentina in Belgrade in their lone Davis Cup matchup way back in 1964.
The winner here will face the France-Spain victor in the 2011 Davis Cup final in December.