Surefooted Djokovic gives Serbia 2-0 lead in Davis Cup tie against Belgium

Novak Djokovic celebrates his straight sets victory over Olivier Rochus in the Davis Cup tie in Belgium.

Story highlights

  • Novak Djokovic beats Olivier Rochus in straight sets
  • Gives Serbia 2-0 first day lead over Belgium in Davis Cup
  • Djokovic playing first match since winning Australian Open
  • Holders Czech Republic level at 1-1 against Switzerland

Serbia's Novak Djokovic quickly found his feet on a court he had deemed "dangerous" to brush aside Olivier Rochus of Belgium in a Davis Cup tie in Charleroi Friday.

It was the world number one's first match since winning the Australian Open last Sunday and his victory has given his country a 2-0 lead as they bid for a quarterfinal place in the World Group.

The red clay surface laid in the Spiroudome de Charleroi had been the main talking point in the build up to the tie, with Djokovic, who has had little time to rest since his Melbourne triumph, tweeting: "Being extra careful here. The conditions are quite dangerous 4 all players. I know organisers did their best, but still.....worried."

In the end, Djokovic's fears proved unfounded as he took just one hour 39 minutes to beat Rochus 6-3 6-2 6-2, returning to Davis Cup action after missing the 2012 edition.

His teammate Viktor Troicki had a much tougher task in the opening rubber and he had to come from two sets down to beat David Goffin 1-6 3-6 7-6 6-4 6-4 in thrilling match.

Djokovic finishes season on top
Djokovic finishes season on top


    Djokovic finishes season on top


Djokovic finishes season on top 02:36
Djokovic: 'My dreams came true'
Djokovic: 'My dreams came true'


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Djokovic: 'My dreams came true' 00:43

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Goffin, who had been unbeaten in his three Davis Cup appearances in singles, served for the match at two sets to the good and 5-4, but allowed Troicki to break back after a series of unforced errors.

The Serbian took the set on a tight tiebreak and a single break of service in each of the next two sets was enough to give him victory in just under four hours.

Match referee Remy Azemar had ruled the court fit before the start of the two singles rubbers after some last-minute remedial work.

The International Tennis Federation (ITF) issued a statement after Djokovic's remarks and complaints from the Serbian captain Bojan Obradovic.

"Under Davis Cup regulations, it is the responsibility of the home nation to ensure a playable court surface is available for each tie. There has been some speculation that laying the temporary clay court surface on wood was a source of the problem," it read.

"The ITF would like to thank the Federation Royale Belge de Tennis for their response to our requests and their efforts over the last 24 hours to ensure that the court is fit for play and we look forward to a weekend of exciting Davis Cup tennis."

Davis Cup inspires Czech Republic
Davis Cup inspires Czech Republic


    Davis Cup inspires Czech Republic


Davis Cup inspires Czech Republic 00:10
Safarova: 'One of my best matches ever'
Safarova: 'One of my best matches ever'


    Safarova: 'One of my best matches ever'


Safarova: 'One of my best matches ever' 00:10

Holders Czech Republic ended the first day of their rubber with Switzerland in Geneva tied at 1-1.

Stanislas Wawrinka, who pushed Djokovic all the way in a five-set epic in Australia, gave the home side the lead with a straight sets win over Lukas Rosol.

Wawrinka, leading the Swiss in the absence of Roger Federer, beat Rafael Nadal's conqueror at Wimbledon last year 6-4 6-3 6-4.

But Tomas Berdych drew the Czechs level with a four sets win over 20-year-old Henri Laaksonen.

Berdych dropped the third set to the promising home player but prevailed 6-3 6-2 6-7 6-1.


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