BELGRADE, Serbia (AP) With his elbow better and his body rested, Novak Djokovic is ready to get back on court when Serbia faces Spain in the Davis Cup quarterfinals.
“I haven’t had too many matches recently, and that’s what I need to get back in shape,” Djokovic said Tuesday.
The Serb has dropped from his No. 1 ranking after a slump in form following his French Open title last year. His most recent match was a loss to Nick Kyrgios in the fourth round of the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, California, in March. He withdrew from Miami Open because of a lingering right elbow injury.
“I skipped Miami and I haven’t done much in Indian Wells, so the start of the season wasn’t ideal,” Djokovic said. “I had luck and pleasure to play at an exceptionally high level for six years and had fantastic results. … Things are a bit different now.
“I needed some rest. But I’m not disappointed because I spent some quality time with my family.”
Spain will be without both Rafael Nadal and Roberto Bautista Agut in the best-of-five series starting next Friday.
“Spain is one of the most successful nations in the Davis Cup,” Djokovic said. “Their best players are not here, but we should not underestimate them.”
Spain, a five-time champion, is trying to make the semifinals for the first time since 2012. Djokovic led Serbia to its only title in 2010.
BIRMINGHAM, England — Elina Svitolina was eliminated in the second round of the Aegon Classic on Thursday, losing to Italian qualifier Camila Giorgi 6-4, 4-6, 6-2 in the second round.
Svitolina, a 22-year-old Ukrainian who recently broke into the top 10, said a foot injury could force her to skip Wimbledon.
“There is a question about it,” Svitolina said. “I will talk with my physios. The season is very long and I must look at the bigger picture.
“The heel feels painful and is very sensitive. I am disappointed I am out of the tournament but I am not disappointed with my performance, because I could not show even 50 percent. Also the court was slippery which is bad for the foot.”
Giorgi will next face Ashleigh Barty in the quarterfinals.
The Aegon Classic originally boasted seven of the world’s top 10 players, but four withdrew with injuries. It has now lost the two top seeded players who started the tournament, Svitolina and Dominika Cibulkova.
LONDON — Marin Cilic avoided becoming the latest seeded player to depart early at Queen’s by beating Stefan Kozlov 6-0, 6-4 Thursday and advancing to the quarterfinals at the Wimbledon warm-up event.
The fourth-seeded Cilic is the top player left following the first-round exits of Andy Murray, Stan Wawrinka and Milos Raonic – the top three seeded players. Fifth-seeded Jo-Wilfried Tsonga is also out.
Cilic, the 2012 champion at Queen’s, lost only 10 points in the first set and didn’t face a break point in the match against the 19-year-old Kozlov.
“At a tournament like this, we have so many great grass-court players,” Cilic said of the slew of upsets so far at Queen’s. “Considering it’s also one of the first weeks on grass, it’s always very tricky.”
Cilic will play another American, Donald Young, in the last eight.