Serbia's Novak Djokovic gestures to the crowd after losing to Uzbekistan's Denis Istomin during their second round match at the Australian Open tennis championships in Melbourne, Australia, Thursday, Jan. 19, 2017. (AP Photo/Mark Baker)
Mark Baker
January 22, 2017

BELGRADE, Serbia (AP) Novak Djokovic will lead his native Serbia against Russia in the first round of the Davis Cup next month.

Serbia state TV on Sunday quoted Djokovic as saying that he is ''always happy'' to play in the competition. He says ''it is a special feeling when we are together playing for our country.''

Djokovic was beaten in the second round of the Australian Open by No. 117-ranked wild-card entry Denis Istomin.

The Feb. 5-7 Davis Cup matchup against Russia will be held in the southern Serbian city of Nis. The home team will be coached by doubles specialist Nenad Zimonjic.

The 40-year-old Zimonjic has replaced Bogdan Obradovic, who led Serbia to its only Davis Cup title in 2010.

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