Serbia, Britain in control as depleted Swiss hold Belgium

Fri Mar 6, 2015 8:05pm EST
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By Zoran Milosavljevic

KRALJEVO, Serbia (Reuters) - Serbia carved out a 2-0 lead over rivals Croatia while Britain led the U.S. by the same score and holders Switzerland were tied with Belgium in the Davis Cup world group first round on Friday.

France also raced into a 2-0 lead away to Germany after Gilles Simon overpowered Jan-Lennard Struff in five sets and Gael Monfils beat Philipp Kohlschreiber 6-4 7-5 7-6(4).

Roared on by a passionate 3,000 crowd, who also applauded Croatia's national anthem, world number one Novak Djokovic put 2010 winners Serbia ahead with a 6-3 6-2 6-4 whitewash of Mate Delic before Viktor Troicki staged a magnificent comeback to beat 18-year-old Borna Coric in five sets in the Kraljevo Arena.

Trailing by two sets and 2-0 in the third, Troicki looked a different player after winning the next five games to haul himself back into the match.

The 29-year-old from Belgrade piled on the pressure against a worn-down Coric who looked completely deflated for the rest of the match and acknowledged he ran out of steam and energy after suffering a 4-6 1-6 6-3 6-2 6-1 defeat.

“I played an almost perfect match up to the point when I was two games up in the third set and, having missed some volleys which I shouldn’t have, I completely lost it,” said Coric, recently touted by Djokovic as the next big thing in men’s tennis after wins over Rafael Nadal and Andy Murray.

“Clearly, I lack the experience and stamina for five-set matches but that’s exactly where I will improve in the future.”

Troicki said: “I had to dig deep but I never lost faith and felt good on the court even when I was losing.   Continued...

Tennis - Great Britain v United States of America - Davis Cup World Group First Round - Emirates Arena, Glasgow, Scotland - 6/3/15
Great Britain's James Ward  in action
Action Images via Reuters / Andrew Boyers