1/31/13 7:05 PM | Kelli DeMario
World No. 1 Novak Djokovic will lead the way for 2010 champion Serbia as he faces veteran Olivier Rochus in first-round competition. Friday's action is set to begin with compatriot Viktor Troicki taking on David Goffin.
Novak Djokovic vs. Olivier Rochus
World No. 1 Novak Djokovic will be looking to level a 2-3 series deficit against Belgium's Oliver Rochus. Friday marks the second Davis Cup meeting for the players after the veteran won their first in 2005.
Djokovic is back on court following a Grand Slam championship run at the Australian Open. The 25-year-old, who defeated world No. 3 Andy Murray for the title, is contesting his 18th career tie for 2010 Davis Cup winner Serbia. He is seeking his 20th victory in singles competition.
"It’s been a long few weeks in Melbourne and exhausting but still very successful," Djokovic explained. "Right now I am turning my attention to Davis Cup and I am glad I am part of this team again. I have missed that feeling to be honest and hopefully we can have a successful team."
Former world No. 24 Rochus will attempt to rebound after suffering a first-round defeat to Spain's David Ferrer in Melbourne. The 32-year-old, taking part in his 27th career tie, has compiled a 15-14 singles record since his Davis Cup debut in 2000.
Prediction: Djokovic in straight sets.
Viktor Troicki vs. David Goffin
World No. 39 Viktor Troicki trails world No. 50 David Goffin 0-1 in the series, having lost their only previous meeting at the 2012 tournament in Winston-Salem.
Troicki looks to regroup following a first-round loss to Czech veteran Radek Stepanek at the Australian Open. The 26-year-old is bidding for his 12th Davis Cup singles victory.
Goffin enters into the tie having suffered back-to-back, opening-round defeats in Auckland and Melbourne. The 22-year-old has built a 3-0 Davis Cup singles mark after making his debut last season.
Prediction: Goffin in four sets.
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