Serbia are one point away from a semifinal place after the perfect start to their tie against Sweden in Halmstad. Janko Tipsarevic, who was a substitute for World No. 1 Novak Djokovic who withdrew with a knee injury, played just nine games against Davis Cup debutant Ervin Eleskovic before the Swede retired with a knee injury. Tipsarevic was leading 62 1-0 after 44 minutes when the rubber came to an abrupt end.
Earlier in the day Troicki was taken to four sets in a gripping opening singles rubber against Michael Ryderstedt, who takes over the role of Sweden’s No. 1 player this weekend in the absence of Robin Soderling. There are 281 places separating the two players, but it only showed in the opening two sets. Buoyed by a vocal away contingent of Serbian fans, Troicki raced into a two-set lead but thereafter was made to work hard for a 63 61 67(6) 75 victory in just under three hours. Ryderstedt, who was making his Davis Cup debut, started poorly and handed his opponent the first two sets with too many unforced errors. He failed to get into a rhythm on his serve until the third set. At 0-40 down at 5-5 in the third, it looked like Ryderstedt was going to be having an early bath, but the Swede somehow fought back and pushed his Serbian opponent into a tiebreak. After taking the tiebreak 8-6, the momentum was with the home player and he even served for the fourth set at 5-4. But Troicki showed why he is ranked No. 16 in the world and reeled off three games in a row to win the opening point of the tie for Serbia.
Serbia needs just one more point to move through to a semifinal against Argentina, who have already won their tie against Kazakhstan. The tie in Buenos Aires was brought forward a day due to government elections locally