2 Feb 2013

Serbia on brink of Davis Cup quarter-final berth, Spain stunned

6:00 pm on 2 February 2013

Serbia, the 2010 Davis Cup champions, are eyeing a fourth consecutive World Group quarter-finals berth after theWorld No.1 tennis player Novak Djokovic eased past Belgian Olivier Rochus.

The Australian Open champion Djokovic needed just an hour and 39 minutes to beat 32-year-old Rochus 6-3 6-2 6-2 to give Serbia a 2-nil lead in their World Group first round tie after Viktor Troicki had earlier needed five sets to defeat David Goffin.

Elswhere, the United States, the 32-time champions, took a 1-nil lead over Brazil in Jacksonville when Sam Querrey fired 15 aces to beat Thomaz Bellucci 6-3 6-4 6-4.

John Isner will face Thiago Alves in the second rubber with the eventual winners of the weekend tie to meet either Belgium or Serbia for a semi-final spot.

And top seeds Spain moved to the brink of a shock Davis Cup exit today when their weakened team slumped to a 2-0 deficit at the hands of Canada in a world group, first round tie played in Vancouver.

Spain, five-times winners of the Davis Cup, were weakened by the absence of top 15 players Rafa Nadal, David Ferrer and Nicolas Almagro and the Canadians, who have never won a world group tie, pounced to take advantage.

Big-serving Milos Raonic was expected to bludgeon his way past Alberto Ramos and duly delivered when he sealed a 6-7 6-4 6-4 6-4 victory over the world number 51.

Frank Dancevic, ranked 161, provided the real shock of the day, though, humbling world number 34 Marcel Granollers 6-1 6-2 6-2 to give his country a 2-0 lead going into tonight's doubles.