Tennis: Serbs face tough task with Tipsarevic out of Davis Cup final

BELGRADE (REUTERS) - Serbia's hopes of winning a second Davis Cup title suffered a blow on Thursday, after their second-ranked singles player Janko Tipsarevic pulled out of the final against holders Czech Republic with a heel injury.

World No.2 Novak Djokovic takes on Radek Stepanek in Friday's opening singles rubber, after which Tipsarevic's replacement Dusan Lajovic clashes with world No.7 Tomas Berdych in Belgrade's Kombank Arena.

Djokovic takes on Berdych and Lajovic meets Stepanek in Sunday's reverse singles.

It will be the third meeting between the two nations in the last four seasons, with Serbia winning the 2010 semi-final 3-2 at the same venue en route to their maiden title, while the Czech Republic were 4-1 winners in the 2012 quarter-final.