Lajovic brings Serbia level with Britain in Davis


Serbia's Dusan Lajovic returns a ball to Britain's James Ward during their Davis Cup quarterfinal tennis match in Belgrade, Serbia, Saturday, July 16, 2016. (AP Photo/Marko Drobnjakovic)

Belgrade (Serbia)—Dusan Lajovic breezed past James Ward 6-1, 6-3, 6-2 to bring Serbia level 1-1 with title holder Britain in their Davis Cup quarterfinal.
The second singles could not be played on the opening day because of rain and was postponed until Saturday, when it also began an hour later than scheduled.
But the weather then held up and Lajovic put Serbia back in the match. He won 10 straight points in breaking Ward at love and holding at love for a decisive 3-1 lead in the third set. The doubles were being played later Saturday.
Britain took a 1-0 lead when Kyle Edmund beat Janko Tipsarevic 6-3, 6-4, 6-0 in the opening singles.
Serbia is without top-ranked Novak Djokovic, while Britain is missing No. 2 Andy Murray, the Wimbledon champion.
Murray, however, came to Belgrade to support the team from the sidelines, while Djokovic stayed away.
Lajovic broke serve in the opening game and that set the tone for the match.
“A tough start, he didn’t do much wrong,” Ward said. “It’s one of the heaviest clay courts I’ve ever played on, it doesn’t suit my game at all.”
“It’s not my ideal surface in slow and heavy conditions. He was just too good today,” Ward said.
Lajovic agreed about the condition of the clay court after heavy rains overnight.
“As soon as you put pressure on your foot, it falls apart,” Lajovic said.
“I was a a little under pressure as we were down 1-0, but I think he was a little less comfortable. I played a good tactical match.”
Earlier, Kyle Edmund overcame long rain delays and beat Janko Tipsarevic in straight sets to give titleholder Britain a 1-0 lead over Serbia in their Davis Cup quarterfinal on Friday.
With Wimbledon champion Andy Murray not playing but supporting the team from its box, Edmund won 6-3, 6-4, 6-0 in a match that stretched over five hours with two long rain delays.
The second singles between Serbia’s Dusan Lajovic and James Ward was postponed until Saturday, with the doubles to follow.
The match already began after a brief delay and a minute of silence for the victims of the Nice attack.
But soon a shower forced the match to be suspended for an hour. When they returned, Edmund broke serve for 3-1 and rode that advantage to win the set. He also broke at the start of the second and was up 2-1 before another delay that took one hour, 45 minutes.
By the time they started again, only diehard British fans stayed, while most of the Serbs deserted the downtown Tasmajdan stadium, named after a quarry in Ottoman times.
Tipsarevic, a former top-10 player who is coming back from a long break for two heel surgeries and a knee injury and is now ranked No. 405, broke back to level at 3-3 but dropped his serve in the next game with two double-faults, and Edmund regained control.—AFP

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