Hosts Serbia took a 2-0 lead against Spain in their Davis Cup by BNP Paribas quarterfinal after Novak Djokovic beat Albert Ramos-Vinolas 63 64 62 and Viktor Troicki 6-3 6-4 6-3 in Friday’s opening singles rubber.
“I was especially happy with my serve. It was working very well today, I won a lot of points off my first serve. At this level that’s important. All in all, I’m very pleased. I’m very glad to play for my country and get the opening point.” Djokovic said after the match
Nole ground out a 3-2 lead in the opening set as games went with serve, before he moved up a gear to break his rival’s serve and hold his own with a barrage of searing baseline shots. Djokovic’s thumping forehand did most of the damage and although he squandered two set points on his opponent’s serve in the sixth game, the home crowd favourite wrapped it up several minutes later with a fine crosscourt forehand winner to gain the upper hand.
The second set was also plain sailing for Djokovic, who broke serve in the sixth game and cruised through the rest of it comfortably to take a commanding 2-0 lead in the packed Aleksandar Nikolic Arena.
The subdued Ramos-Vinolas improved early in the third set as he briefly matched Djokovic in every department and threatened to break back after the Serb had taken a 3-1 lead. Ramos-Vinolas then held serve and carved out his solitary break point of the match in the next game, but firm volleying and powerful serving by Djokovic denied the Spaniard any hope to getting back into the match. Having taken a 4-2 lead, Djokovic raced through the rest of the third set to seal the contest in one hour 55 minutes in front of a delighted home crowd.