Djokovic puts Serbia on top
A review of Friday's action at the Davis Cup with Serbia in charge against Belgium.
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Novak Djokovic helped put Serbia in a commanding position at the end of the opening day of their Davis Cup World Group first-round tie against Belgium in Charleroi.
The world number one needed just one hour and 39 minutes to defeat Olivier Rochus 6-3 6-2 6-2, which gave the visitors a 2-0 lead after Viktor Troicki had battled from two sets down to win the opening singles rubber 1-6 3-6 7-6 (7/5) 6-4 6-4 against David Goffin.
It was honours even after the opening day in Geneva between Switzerland and defending champions the Czech Republic.
Stanislas Wawrinka got the hosts off to a flying start with a 6-4 6-3 6-4 victory over Lukas Rosol, but Tomas Berdych levelled things up by seeing off world number 289 Henri Laaksonen 6-3 6-2 6-7 (5/7) 6-1.
France will also take a 2-0 lead into day two against Israel after Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Richard Gasquet won their singles rubbers in Rouen.
World number eight Tsonga was given a test by Amir Weintraub, ranked 199, but eventually prevailed 6-3 6-3 4-6 7-5, and Gasquet followed that up with a much more comfortable 6-3 6-2 6-2 triumph over Dudi Sela.
Tsonga said on www.daviscup.com: "I played well. I was not really in difficulty. But, anyway, he played good tennis at this moment and it's good for him.
"I was at the same place as him before. I know when you play against a better player you always play your best tennis because you don't have a choice."
Kazakhstan were in control against Austria after two straight-sets singles wins on day one in Astana.
Andrey Golubev overcame Andreas Haider-Maurer 7-6 (7/2) 6-3 7-6(7/5) and then Evgeny Korolev beat Jurgen Melzer 7-6 (7/4) 6-3 6-2.
Argentina were very much in control against Germany after winning both singles rubbers in blistering heat in Buenos Aires, albeit aided by a stroke of luck.
Carlos Berlocq's clash with Philipp Kohlschreiber was finely poised at 3-6 7-5 2-6 6-4 4-5 when the German was forced to retire with a hamstring injury.
Juan Monaco pressed home Argentina's advantage by beating Florian Mayer 6-7 (4/7) 6-3 6-3 6-4 in the second match of the day.
There was all to play for in Turin after day one finished all square between Italy and Croatia.
Marin Cilic gave the visitors the upper hand with a 6-1 6-7 (6/8) 4-6 6-3 6-2 success against Paolo Lorenzi, but Andreas Seppi got the Italians back on level terms with a 6-2 6-7 (2/7) 6-4 6-4 victory over Ivan Dodig.
Straight-sets victories for John Isner and Sam Querrey in Jacksonville put the United States 2-0 up on Brazil and on the brink of winning the tie.
World number 16 Isner was a 6-3 6-4 6-4 winner over Thomaz Bellucci while Querrey beat Thiago Alves 6-3 7-6 (7/4) 6-3.
With the world's best doubles pairing, Mike and Bob Bryan, in action next for the Americans, their progress would appear to be a formality.
Over the border in Vancouver, Canada also secured a 2-0 advantage against a Spain team missing most of its best players.
With no Rafa Nadal, David Ferrer, Nicolas Almagro or Fernando Verdasco, world number 34 Marcel Granollers was Spain's top-ranked player.
But he was humbled 6-1 6-2 6-2 by Frank Dancevic, ranked 166th in the world, after world number 15 Milos Raonic had beaten Albert Ramos 6-7 (5/7) 6-4 6-4 6-4, leaving Spain in deep trouble.