Novak Djokovic put Serbia on the course for the Davis Cup semi-finals held on Friday as the 2010 champions dominated a Spanish team with missing Rafael Nadal while Britain, without Andy Murray, slipped with 2-0 down to France. World’s number two Djokovic has shrugged off his recent elbow injury to give Serbia a winning start in their quarter-final held in Belgrade with a 6-3, 6-4, 6-2 winning over the Albert Ramos Vinolas, who is the 24th-ranked. Lately, Mahesh Bhupathi has left Leander Paes and made the decision to field Rohan Bopanna for his final four-man team for India’s upcoming Davis Cup Asia/Oceania Zone Group I tie.
Viktor Troicki, the world 39th, then made it 2-0 by seeing off 19th-ranked Pablo Carreno Busta 6-3, 6-4, 6-3. Djokovic said after claiming a 12th successive Davis Cup singles win as he was satisfied with his game, especially with the serve. He also added that it worked well and he won a lot of points off his first serve.
Djokovic, who had skipped the Miami Masters because of his elbow injury and went into the tie in Belgrade with only seven wins on tour in 2017, has dropped just one point on serve against Ramos Vinolas. Five-time winners Spain is without Nadal after the 14-time Grand Slam champion opted to stay on the roof to prepare for the clay-court season.
Team captain Nenad Zimonjic and Troicki would face Marc Lopez and Jaume Munar in Saturday’s doubles where a win would give Serbia a semi-final date against either France or Britain. On a perfect day for all four of the quarter-final hosts, Australia was 2-0 up on the US in Brisbane, closing in on a semi-final date against Belgium who was 2-0 ahead of the Italy in Charleroi.
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In Rouen, Lucas Pouille and Jeremy Chardy has moved nine-time champions France to the verge of a fifth semi-final in eight years with the straight sets wins upon a British team missing Andy Murray who had sat out the tie with an elbow injury. Pouille had given France with a winning start with a 7-5, 7-6 (8/6), 6-3 victory over the Kyle Edmund before Chardy then eased the past, Dan Evans, playing on the clay for the very first time in the three years, 6-2, 6-3, 6-3.
Chardy, only France’s ninth best singles player, has competed in his first Davis Cup singles rubber in the six years. Pouille, being the world number 17 and his team’s head singles player in the nonexistence of Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Gael Monfils, has recovered from 2/5 down in the second set tie-breaker before dominating the deciding set.
France could wrap up the tie on Saturday when Julien Benneteau and Nicolas Mahut to face on Jamie Murray and Dominic Inglot in the doubles. Nick Kyrgios and Jordan Thompson gave Australia an unexpected 2-0 lead against the US in the countries’ 47th meeting in the competition.
World number 79 Thompson has stunned the world number 15 Jack Sock with 6-3, 3-6, 7-6 (7/4), 6-4 before Nick Kyrgios saw off John Isner 7-5, 7-6 (7/5), 7-6 (7/5). The controversial Kyrgios pushed the Roger Federer to the brink in the Miami semi-finals last week, and he had carried that form into Friday’s match.