Novak Djokovic, of Serbia, returns a shot to Nick Kyrgios, of Australia, at the BNP Paribas Open tennis tournament, Wednesday, March 15, 2017, in Indian Wells, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
Mark J. Terrill
April 04, 2017

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.

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