Swiss off to a flier

  • Last Updated: February 1 2014, 7:15 GMT

A review of the rest of Friday's action in the Davis Cup World Group, with Federer and Wawrinka getting Switzerland off to a strong start.

Roger Federer en route to victory in Novi Sad
Roger Federer en route to victory in Novi Sad

Davis Cup favourites Switzerland got their campaign off to a strong start on Friday as Roger Federer and Stanislas Wawrinka both won.

Federer won the opening singles against last year's runners-up Serbia in Novi Sad, beating Ilija Bozoljac 6-4 7-5 6-2.

The 17-time Grand Slam champion, who only opted to play in the tie on Wednesday, had to fight back from 5-2 down in the second set but once he did so there was only going to be one winner.

Federer said: "I struggled to read Ilija's serve early on although I wasn't really surprised because I played against him not that long ago so I knew that he has a big serve.

"In the second set I was just glad to take advantage and fight back. The most important thing is that I won the match in straight sets."

Newly-crowned Australian Open champion Wawrinka did lose the second set to lowly-ranked Dusan Lajovic but recovered to post a hard-fought 6-4 4-6 6-1 7-6 (9/7) victory.

France, another well-fancied team in the competition, also ended day one with a 2-0 lead in their tie against Australia.

Both Richard Gasquet and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga won in straight sets on Friday - against Nick Kyrgios and Lleyton Hewitt respectively - to put the hosts in control.

Kazakhstan claimed a 2-0 lead against Belgium thanks to some heroics from Andrey Golubev. He saved five match points as he edged past David Goffin 7-6 (11/9) 3-6 4-6 6-2 12-10 in a match lasting more than four and a half hours in Astana.

Mikhail Kukushkin had earlier put the home team 1-0 up by beating Ruben Bemelmans in four sets.

Five-time champions Spain face first-round elimination for the second straight year after falling 2-0 behind after the first day's play against Germany in Frankfurt.

Wins for Florian Mayer and Philip Kohlschreiber put the hosts in command against a Spanish team shorn of their four highest-ranked players for the tie.

Kohlschreiber got the Germans started in style with a 6-2 6-4 6-2 win over Davis Cup debutant Roberto Bautista Agut, who is ranked 52nd in the world and only the ninth-best Spaniard.

And Mayer fought off a gutsy comeback by veteran Feliciano Lopez to increase Germany's lead after a 7-6 (7/6) 7-6 (7/4) 1-6 5-7 6-3 triumph.

Mayer was forced to seek treatment for a shoulder injury before the final set and he admitted: "It was absolute drama at the end but the crowd helped me.

"It's extra-special to win it for the team. It would have been disappointing if I'd lost but even though it's 2-0 things have not been decided."

World number seven Tomas Berdych drew reigning champions the Czech Republic back level with Holland on day one in Ostrava.

Dutch number one Robin Haase battled back from behind to beat Czech veteran Radek Stepanek 3-6 6-4 6-7 (4/7) 6-2 6-1 and give his side the lead.

But Berdych outclassed world number 62 Igor Sijsling 6-3 6-3 6-0 to give the Czechs hope ahead of Saturday's scheduled doubles.

In Mar del Plata, hosts Argentina ended the opening day tied at 1-1 with Italy despite a nightmare start from home favourite Carlos Berlocq.

The 30-year-old dropped his opening two service games against Andreas Seppi before clawing back to win the match 4-6 6-0 6-2 6-1 - a point which became more valuable after Italian number one Fabio Fognini squared the match with a 7-5 6-2 6-2 win over Juan Monaco.

In Tokyo, Canada shrugged off the loss of number one Milos Raonic due to injury as they held Japan 1-1 at the end of the first day.

Kei Nishikori gave the hosts a strong start with a 6-4 6-4 6-4 win over Peter Polansky but Frank Dancevic levelled for the Canadians with a 6-4 7-6 (7/2) 6-1 win over Japanese number two Go Soeda.


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