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Djokovic in groove as Serbia lead Belgium


Novak Djokovic

Novak Djokovic

Novak Djokovic

Novak Djokovic quickly got back in the groove after his Australian Open triumph with a crushing defeat of Olivier Rochus as Serbia surged into a 2-0 lead in their Davis Cup, first round tie in Belgium yesterday.

Holders Czech Republic were locked at 1-1 after the first day against a Switzerland side minus world number two Roger Federer – Tomas Berdych levelling the tie after Lukas Rosol found himself outplayed by Stanislas Wawrinka.

France and Kazakhstan made impressive starts to their ties against Israel and Austria respectively while top seeds Spain were in action later against Canada in Vancouver.

Germany's hopes of beating Argentina suffered a cruel blow as Philipp Kohlschreiber was forced to retire with a hamstring injury when serving for the match at 5-4 in the fifth set against Carlos Berlocq.

World number one Djokovic quickly adapted to the indoor clay court at the Spiroudome in Charleroi to blow away Rochus 6-3 6-2 6-2.



Serbia's Viktor Troicki, playing in place of the absent Janko Tipsarevic, battled back from two sets down to beat David Goffin in the opening rubber.

Troicki, who won the deciding rubber when Serbia won the Davis Cup in 2010, produced a gutsy display after being outplayed for two sets.

The match began to spin away from Goffin in the third set as Troicki came back to win 1-6 3-6 7-6 6-4 6-4.

On the eve of the match, Serbia had criticised the playing surface, saying the decision to lay a clay court on top of a wooden floor was dangerous.

In other ties, Croatia moved ahead against Italy in Turin thanks to Marin Cilic's win against Paolo Lorenzi.