Davis Cup: Djokovic gives Serbia lead; Czechs, Swiss tied
Tomas Berdych won his match Friday to bring defending champion Czech Republic to 1-1 against Switzerland after the opening singles.
The sixth-ranked Berdych eased to a 6-3, 6-2, 6-7 (5), 6-1 victory over 289th-ranked Henri Laaksonen on an indoor hardcourt at Palexpo Arena.
Earlier, Switzerland's Stanislas Wawrinka beat Lukas Rosol 6-4, 6-3, 6-4.
Roger Federer is skipping the best-of-five series, while Czech veteran Radek Stepanek is sidelined by injury.
In Saturday's doubles, Wawrinka, the 2008 Olympic champion with Federer, will partner Marco Chiudinelli against Ivo Minar and Jiri Vesely.
The match between Wawrinka and Berdych will open reverse singles on Sunday.
Serbia 2, Belgium 0
CHARLEROI, Belgium (AP) -- Australian Open champion Novak Djokovic swept past Oliver Rochus 6-3, 6-2, 6-2 to give Serbia a commanding 2-0 lead after Friday's opening singles in their Davis Cup first-round series.
On Saturday, Serbia can advance to the next round with a victory in the doubles.
Earlier Friday, Viktor Troicki fought back from two sets down to beat David Goffin 1-6, 3-6, 7-6 (5), 6-4, 6-4 and give Serbia its first point.
Despite the switch from the fast hardcourt conditions in which he won his third straight Australian open on Sunday to the slow, sticky indoor clay of the Spiroudome, Djokovic dismissed the 127th-ranked Rochus without a hitch.
He had complained about the clay court as being dangerous because it was too wet, but it never showed in his game, as he turned the match into a demonstration of skill and stamina.
Belgium had a chance to make it an exciting weekend when its top player, the 50th-ranked Goffin, easily won the first two sets and only had to hold serve deep in the third for victory. But he buckled under the pressure, and Troicki came back to win the tiebreaker and had the better nerves to complete an unlikely comeback.
France 2, Israel 0
ROUEN, France (AP) -- Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Richard Gasquet won their opening singles Friday to give France a 2-0 lead against Israel in the first round of the Davis Cup.
The eighth-ranked Tsonga defeated Amir Weintraub 6-3, 6-3, 4-6, 7-5, and Gasquet followed up with a 6-3, 6-2, 6-2 win against Dudi Sela.
France can clinch its spot in the quarterfinals if Julien Benneteau and Michael Llodra win their doubles against Jonathan Erlich and Sela on Saturday.
Italy 1, Croatia 1
TURIN, Italy (AP) -- Andreas Seppi drew Italy level 1-1 with Croatia by beating Ivan Dodig 6-2, 6-7 (2), 6-4, 6-4 in the first round of the Davis Cup on Friday.
Seppi is up to a career-high ranking of No. 18 after reaching the fourth round of the Australian Open, and he relied on his solid form to overcome the persistent Dodig, who is ranked 59th.
In the opening singles match on the red clay court inside the Palavela, Marin Cilic fought back to beat Paolo Lorenzi 6-1, 6-7 (6), 4-6, 6-3, 6-2 in 3 hours, 43 minutes
Lorenzi was a late replacement for Fabio Fognini, who sat out with the flu.
Saturday's doubles pits Simone Bolelli and Lorenzi against Mate Pavic and Nikola Mektic.
The reverse singles on Sunday sees Seppi face 14th-ranked Cilic in a rematch of their five-set Australian Open third-round match which was won by the Italian.
Italy is looking to win its first World Group tie since 1998, when it finished runner-up. Croatia won the Davis Cup in 2005.
The winner faces either Spain or Canada in the quarterfinals.
Kazakhstan 2, Austria 0
ASTANA, Kazakhstan (AP) -- Andrey Golubev and Evgeny Korolev won their singles matches Friday to give Kazakhstan a 2-0 lead over Austria in the first round of the Davis Cup.
Golubev beat Andreas Haider-Maurer 7-6 (2), 6-3, 7-6 (5) in the opening match, and Korolev followed up by defeating Jurgen Melzer 7-6 (4), 6-3, 6-2.
The doubles match is scheduled for Saturday, and the reverse singles will be played Sunday.