Photo: Susan MullaneNovak Djokovic (SRB)
The first day of on-court action in the Davis Cup by BNP Paribas quarterfinals saw the defending champions move into a commanding lead even though neither Tomas Berdych nor Radek Stepanek were called upon.
Jan Hajek kicked off the weekend in convincing fashion with a straight sets victory against Mikhail Kukushkin before Lukas Rosol extended the lead, bouncing back from losing the first set against Andrey Golubev to put Czech Republic on the brink of another semifinal appearance.
Should they complete the job in Astana they will face the victors of the tie between France and Argentina. The French took the first point on offer in Buenos Aires as Jo-Wilfried Tsonga was made to toil against Carlos Berlocq before finally prevailing in just under four hours.
Juan Monaco pulled it back for the hosts in the second rubber as he breezed past Gilles Simon, a late replacement for RIchard Gasquet, who struggled with an injury during the match and never threatened an out-of-form Monaco meaning Saturday's doubles takes on a huge importance.
World No.1 Novak Djokovic eased Serbia into the lead against USA before Sam Querrey fought back from two-sets-to-one-down to defeat Viktor Troicki in a thrilling encounter at the Taco Bell Arena.
The final World Group tie of the weekend between Canada and Italy proved to be a back-and-forth affair with Andreas Seppi recovering from a two-set deficit against Vasek Pospisil to put the Italians ahead but Milos Raonic put on a serving masterclass to overcome Fabio Fognini in straight sets.
For full match reports, pictures, audio interviews and much, much more click on the links below:
Canada 1-1 Italy
USA 1-1 Serbia
Kazakhstan 0-2 Czech Republic
Argentina 1-1 France