Djokovic gives Serbia the edge in Davis Cup

Novak Djokovic helped Serbia to a 2-0 lead over Russia on the opening day of their first-round Davis Cup tie.

With the Serbs enjoying home advantage, Viktor Troicki gave them the early lead as he narrowly beat Karen Khachanov 6-4, 6-7 (3-7), 6-3, 1-6, 7-6 (8-6) following a gruelling four-and-a-half-hour contest.

That brought local hero Djokovic to the court to face Daniil Medvedev for what seemed like a certain Serbian victory, but Medvedev stunned the crowd by taking the first set, with Djokovic’s recent run of poor form seemingly continuing.

But the Serb recovered to take the next two sets pretty comfortably, with Medvedev eventually retiring at 3-6, 6-4, 6-1, 1-0 in the fourth to hand his opponent a comfortable victory.

Elsewhere in the World Group, Spain and Croatia are tied at 1-1 after victories for Franko Skugor and Roberto Bautista-Agut.

Skugor, a player ranked outside the top 200, gave Croatia the surprise lead when he upset World No 26 Pablo CarreƱo Busta 3-6, 6-3, 6-4, 4-6, 7-6 (8-6).

But Bautista-Agut hit back for the Spaniards by beating Ante Pavic 6-4, 6-2, 6-3.

Also locked at 1-1 are Germany and Belgium. Steve Darcis drew first blood for the Belgiums following a marathon four-hour contest with Phillip Kohlschreiber, eventually winning 6-4, 3-6, 2-6, 7-6 (7-2), 7-6 (7-5).

Alexander Zverev Jr. drew level for Germany, however, with a straight sets win over Arthur De Greef.

Italy will take a 2-0 lead into the second day of their tie against Argentina, thanks to wins for Paolo Lorenzi and Andreas Seppi.

Lorenzi made light work of Guido Pella with a straight sets win, while Seppi defeat Carlos Berlocq in four sets.

In Group II action, Jirat Navasirisomboon gave Thailand an early lead over Kuwait courtesy of a 6-2, 6-4, 6-7 (4-7), 6-4 victory over Abdullah Maqdes.

But the Kuwaitis responded by leveling the scores as Mohammed Al Ghareeb beat Wishaya Trongcharoenchaikul 6-4, 3-6, 6-3, 6-7 (3-7), 6-0.

Philippines and Indonesia are also tied at 1-1. David Agung Susanto struck first for Indonesia, after Alberto Lim was forced to retire with the score at 3-6, 2-6, 6-2, 6-1 1-1.

But Ruben Gonzales hit back for Philippines with a 6-2, 6-2, 6-4 victory over Aditya Hari Sasongko.