Djokovic steers Serbia to 2-0 lead

Djokovic steers Serbia to 2-0 lead

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Serbia's Novak Djokovic gestures during their Davis Cup quarterfinal match against Spain's Albert Ramos-Vinolas in Belgrade, Serbia, Friday. — AP

BELGRADE — Serbia’s Novak Djokovic showed glimpses of his best form with a 6-3, 6-4, 6-2 win over Albert Ramos-Vinolas as they took a 2-0 lead over Spain in the Davis Cup quarterfinals Friday.

 

Viktor Troicki brushed aside Pablo Carenno Busta 6-3, 6-4, 6-3 in the second rubber as the 2010 champions dominated the tie ahead of Saturday’s doubles and Sunday’s reverse singles.

 

Five-time champion Spain, having arrived with a second-string outfit missing world No. 5 Rafael Nadal, was always going to struggle against a full-strength home team.

 

Serbia’s world number two Djokovic, having suffered from poor form and injuries after claiming his maiden French Open title last June as he relinquished the No. 1 spot to Britain’s Andy Murray, looked solid against Ramos-Vinolas.

 

Kyrgios puts Australia 2 up

 
Nick Kyrgios eased past John Isner 7-5, 7-6(5), 7-6(5) in a duel of big servers to fire Australia to a 2-0 lead over the United States in their Davis Cup quarterfinal in Brisbane Friday.

 

 

The Australian No. 1 carried on from the early work of underdog compatriot Jordan Thompson who stunned Jack Sock in four sets to give the hosts a flying start at a packed Pat Rafter Arena.

 

 

In ominous form during last month’s US hardcourt swing, Kyrgios blasted 20 aces to Isner’s 15, largely defusing the towering American’s serve to close out a slow-burning match in two hours and 24 minutes.

 

Thompson earlier fed off the rowdy home crowd to edge Sock 6-3 3-6 7-6(4) 6-4 for the biggest win of his career.

 
France sweeps Britain

 
Lucas Pouille and Jeremy Chardy moved France to the verge of the Davis Cup semifinals Friday with straight sets wins against a British team missing injured world No. 1 Andy Murray.

 

 

Pouille gave host France a winning start in the quarterfinal with a 7-5, 7-6 (8-6), 6-3 victory over Kyle Edmund.

Chardy then eased past Dan Evans, playing on clay for the first time in three years, 6-2, 6-3, 6-3.

 

 

India leads 2-0

 
India took a 2-0 lead against Uzbekistan on the opening day of the Davis Cup Asia/Oceania Group I tie Friday.

 

India’s Ramkumar Ramanathan and Prajnesh Gunneswaran clinched back-to-back victories for their country against the Uzbeks in the singles rubbers played in Bangalore.

 

Ramanathan, ranked 267, beat Temur Ismailov 6-2, 5-7, 6-2, 7-5 in the first rubber that lasted two hours, 24 minutes.

 

In the second rubber, debutant Gunneswaran, ranked 187, defeated Sanjar Fayziev 7-5, 3-6, 6-3, 6-4.

 

India’s Rohan Bopanna and Sriram Balaji will play Uzbeks Sanjar Fayziev and Farrukh Dustov in the first doubles rubber Saturday.

 

The winner of the tie will qualify for the World Group play-offs, to be played in September. — Agencies

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