Returning to Davis Cup, Roger Federer cruised past Ilija Bozoljac to give Switzerland a 1-0 lead over Serbia in the first-round tie on Friday.
Federer won 6-4, 7-5, 6-2 in less than two hours, and faced little challenge from Bozoljac, who served well but still was no match for the Swiss.
Bozoljac opened the match with two aces and had a set point while leading 5-2 in the second. But Federer held serve and broke to regain control over the set. "Ilija was playing well, especially in the second set," he said. "It was a tough game, it could have been one set all." Federer was making his first Davis Cup appearance since 2012.
Meanwhile in Paris, Richard Gasquet had little trouble beating teenager Nick Kyrgios 7-6 (3), 6-2, 6-2 to give France a 1-0 lead against Australia. "I knew that the first set was really important. I had to win it," said Gasquet.
In the second rubber, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga had an easy outing against Aussie veteran Lleyton Hewitt, beating him in straight sets.
It is the first meeting between the nations since the 2001 Davis Cup final in Melbourne, which France won for its ninth and last title. Australia has an impressive 28 titles but none since 2003.
Kei follows script
Japanese number one Kei Nishikori stuck to the script against Peter Polansky with a 6-4, 6-4, 6-4 victory, but injury-hit Canada won Friday’s second singles match to leave their clash on a knife’s edge in Tokyo.
Frank Dancevic restored parity for last year’s semi-finalists Canada with an impressive 6-4, 7-6, 6-1 win over Go Soeda, adding spice to Saturday’s doubles, as the teams shared the spoils on day one of their first-round tie.