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.