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Djokovic survives Davis Cup scare, champions Argentina slump

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Italy's Andreas Seppi

Serbia defeated Russian Federation 4-1 in the first round of the Davis Cup at the Cair Sports Centre in the city of Nis, qualifying for the last eight of the top worldwide tennis competition for men.

Playing his first match since a sensational second-round loss to Denis Istomin at the Australian Open, Djokovic came from a set and a break down to lead 3-6 6-4 6-1 1-0 when 20-year-old Medvedev was unable to continue due to a leg injury.

Paris - Novak Djokovic survived an injury scare and battled back from a set and a break down to help Serbia take a 2-0 lead over Russian Federation in the Davis Cup World Group tie on Friday.

Earlier, world No. 37 Viktor Troicki had given 2010 champion Serbia a winning start, downing 52nd-ranked Karen Khachanov 6-4, 6-7 (3/7), 6-3, 1-6, 7-6 (8/6) in a 4hr 30min marathon.

Serbia won its only Davis Cup title in 2010, and is now 8th in the world rankings while Russian Federation, ranked 15th, came out on top of the competition twice - in 2006 and 2002.

Despite missing former US Open champion Marin Cilic, Croatia took the lead in Osijek when world No. 223 Franko Skugor stunned 26th-ranked Pablo Carreno Busta 3-6, 6-3, 6-4, 4-6, 7-6 (8/6).

Debutant Jordan Thompson upstaged Nick Kyrgios as Australia eased into a 2-0 lead over the Czech Republic at Melbourne's historic Kooyong Club.

The 28-time champions Australia could next face the United States, the 32-time winners who were 2-0 up on Switzerland in Birmingham, Alabama.

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Jack Sock gave the U.S. a flying start with a 6-4, 6-3, 6-1 win over veteran Marco Chiudinelli.

Darcis won 6-4 3-6 2-6 7-6 (7-2) 7-6 (7-5) after Kohlschreiber looked set to clinch the match in the fourth set when he led 4-2.

The latter led 4-1 in the final set and even had three match points in the 10th game before losing 3-6 6-3 6-4 4-6 7-6 (8-6).

Defending Davis Cup champions Argentina could be eliminated at the first hurdle, after falling 2-0 behind against Italy in Buenos Aires.

Argentina beat Croatia to end their wait for a first Davis Cup title last November but will need a remarkable fightback in order to avoid being brought back down to earth in the absence of Juan Martin del Potro.

Andy Murray was not missed as Great Britain moved 2-1 up on Canada, Jamie Murray - the brother of the absent ATP world number one - teaming up with Dom Inglot to beat Daniel Nestor and Vasek Pospisil.

The winners of the tie next face either Germany or Belgium, who were 1-1 in Frankfurt.

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