Serbia’s Zimonjic on Davis Cup doubles: Wrong team played

by: Matt Cronin November 19, 2013

AP Photo

There appears to be some controversy surrounding the decision to sit world No. 1 Novak Djokovic in the doubles match of the Davis Cup final, which Serbia lost to the Czech Republic. Serbia also lost the tie, 3-2.

Djokovic won both of his singles matches, but Serbian rookie Dusan Lajovic was unable to win either of his, and the standout Czech team of Tomas Berdych and Radek Stepanek beat Nenad Zimonjic and Ilija Bozoljac in Saturday's doubles rubber. Serbian captain Bogdan Obradovic said that it was a team decision to play Bozoljac over Djokovic, but Zimonjic tweeted afterward that, according to translation, said he didn’t believe Serbia played the doubles combination which he thought was best against the Czech team.

Stepanek said that by not playing Djokovic, the Serbians “left their Ferrari in the garage.”

Upon arriving at the official Davis Cup dinner and not seeing Djokovic on Sunday night, Berdych tweeted: Arrived for official @DavisCup dinner and Djoko is not here, does he stay in "garage"??"

Neither Djokovic nor the injured Janko Tipsarevic were have said to have showed up at the official dinner.

Obradovic was unhappy with Stepanek’s comments and brought up his infamous post-match handshake after losing a five-set duel to Tipsarevic in Prague last year.

“You know what Radek Stepanek did do in Prague doing so many bad and nasty things and still he was the one who tried to make some pressure during this match complaining for whistling during the serves,” Obradovic said. “And I know what we experienced in Prague. I think we are a very great team and the people who live in Serbia are more educated for tennis; we have a higher culture than they have because they didn’t say even one bad word of how he behaved in Prague, which for me, was a disaster.”

Stepanek said he made his comments because “I meant [Djokovic] was the best player in the world and to not play him [in doubles], it surprised me.”

At the official dinner, it was reported by journalist Ana Mitric that that Obradovic compared competing in the final without two members of his team -- the injured Tipsarevic and the suspended Viktor Troicki -- to “playing tennis with one leg.”

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