Swiss lead, Spain trail, Czechs level in Davis Cup

Fri Jan 31, 2014 5:40pm EST
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By Toby Davis

LONDON (Reuters) - Roger Federer and Stanislas Wawrinka gave Switzerland a 2-0 lead over last year's runners-up Serbia while injury-hit Spain trailed Germany by the same margin as the Davis Cup World Group first-round ties got underway on Friday.

Serbia fielded a second string team without world number two Novak Djokovic, two months after they lost to the Czech Republic in the final, and were quickly under pressure in Novi Sad.

Federer beat 268th-ranked Ilija Bozoljac in straight sets while Wawrinka, fresh from winning his maiden grand slam title at the Australian Open, eased past Dusan Lajovic in four.

Five-times champions Spain, without injured world number one Rafa Nadal and David Ferrer, got off to a poor start against Germany in Frankfurt with Davis Cup rookie Roberto Bautista Agut easily beaten by Philipp Kohlschreiber in straight sets.

They put up more of a fight in the second rubber but a gutsy effort from Feliciano Lopez was eventually repelled by Florian Mayer after five sets with the fans on the edge of their seats.

The Czechs, who retained the Davis Cup in November, were level at 1-1 with the Netherlands in Ostrava, with Radek Stepanek going down in five tough sets to Robin Haase before Tomas Berdych thrashed Igor Sijsling in straight sets.

France got off to a flier against Australia with Jo-Wilfried Tsonga beating gutsy veteran Lleyton Hewitt in straight sets after Richard Gasquet outclassed Nick Kyrgios, also in three.

Britain were leading the United States 1-0 after Andy Murray beat John Isner's replacement Donald Young in straight sets, Canada were level with Japan, Italy and Argentina were also all square and Kazakhstan were leading 2-0 at home to Belgium.   Continued...

Switzerland's Roger Federer (C) and Michael Lammer (R) congratulate Stanislas Wawrinka (L) after winning his Davis Cup world group first round tennis match against Serbia's Dusan Lajovic in Novi Sad January 31, 2014. REUTERS/Novak Djurovic