Serbs, Slovaks ready for Fed Cup opener

Last year's runner-up Serbia will face the Slovak Republic in a best-of-five opening-round Fed Cup tie this weekend.

The host Serbs, playing without former world No. 1 stars Ana Ivanovic and Jelena Jankovic, will be led by 39th-ranked Bojana Jovanovski, who will meet Slovakian veteran Daniela Hantuchova in Saturday's opening rubber.

Jovanovski-Hantuchova will be followed by a match between 15th-ranked Slovak Dominika Cibulkova and Serbian Vesna Dolonc.

Sunday's reverse singles rubbers on the indoor hardcourt at Hala "Cair" will pit Cibulkova against Jovanovski and Hantuchova versus Dolonc, while the doubles match has a Serbian duo of Dolonc and Aleksandra Krunic taking on a Slovakian tandem of Magdalena Rybarikova and Jana Cepelova.

The Slovaks are 2-1 all-time against the Serbs, but Serbia won their last meeting two years ago.

The winner in Nis will face the Japan-Russia victor in a semifinal in April.

The Serbs lost to the Czech Republic in last year's World Group final.