Davis Cup - Djokovic in groove for Serbia in Davis Cup

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 world group, first round tie in Belgium.

Reuters
Davis Cup - Djokovic eyes return to form in Davis Cup tie versus US
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Novak Djokovic of Serbia reacts after winning his world group first round match in the Davis Cup tennis tournament against Olivier Rochus of Belgium in Charleroi February 1, 2013. (Reuters)

Less than a week after claiming a third consecutive Australian Open title by beating Andy Murray in Melbourne, 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 beat France to win the Davis Cup for the first time in 2010, produced a gutsy display after being outplayed for two sets.

Friday's match began to spin away from Goffin in the third set as Troicki clawed his way 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.

The International Tennis Federation issued a statement saying they were happy with the court and it seemed fine for Djokovic who fired down 20 aces in a one hour 39 minute breeze.

"The serve was incredible and I think that helped me to get the match done in straight sets which was important," Djokovic said. "It wasn't easy playing on clay after a long time indoors and coming from Australia quite late.

"At the start I had trouble with movement and getting used to the conditions but I played my best tennis when I needed to."

A strong France line-up had too much for visitors Israel on the opening day in Rouen where Jo-Wilfried Tsonga needed four sets to beat Amir Weintraub before Richard Gasquet made short work of Dudi Sela.

"It is the perfect scenario because we've got two wins under our belt," team captain Arnaud Clement said. "We will need to be very focused so we can wrap this up tomorrow."

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 had been outplayed by Stanislas Wawrinka.

A strong France line-up had too much for visitors Israel on the opening day in Rouen where Jo-Wilfried Tsonga needed four sets to beat Amir Weintraub before Richard Gasquet made short work of Dudi Sela.

"It is the perfect scenario because we've got two wins under our belt," team captain Arnaud Clement said. "We will need to be very focused so we can wrap this up tomorrow."

Croatia and Italy were locked at 1-1, setting up an intriguing second day of action in Turin.

Croatia took the lead on the red dirt when Marin Cilic beat Paolo Lorenzi, a late replacement for Fabio Fognini who was suffering from the flu, 6-1 6-7 (6) 4-6 6-3 6-2.

Andreas Seppi hit back for Italy with a 6-2 6-7 (2) 6-4 6-4 win over Ivan Dodig.

Elsewhere, Kazakhstan also led 2-0 in their tie against Austria.

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