Tipsarevic brings Serbia level

France wrest control on day one

Tipsarevic brings Serbia level

Tipsarevic outgunned Berdych 7-5, 6-2, 2-6, 7-6 to take the score to 1-1 after Czech Radek Stepanek had fought back from a set down to beat Viktor Troicki, who stood in for the ill and exhausted Novak Djokovic, 4-6, 6-2, 6-4, 6-4.

Under pressure after Troicki lost his match and facing a rival 30 places above him in the ATP rankings, Tipsarevic produced outstanding tennis to down world number seven Berdych after three hours 38 minutes.

"It was a great atmosphere and I am glad the fans got behind me when I needed their support most," Tipsarevic said in a courtside interview after coming back from a break down in the fourth set.

World number two Djokovic, who was exhausted on arrival in Belgrade from New York late on Wednesday after he lost the delayed US Open final to Rafael Nadal, said he hoped to be fit for Saturday's doubles or Sunday's reverse singles.

Tipsarevic added: "I headed into this match like I would in a Grand Slam event or an ATP tournament, without putting any more pressure on myself than I had to because we were 1-0 down. I would have done the same if Troicki had won because it's the only way to beat a top-ten player like Berdych."

France take 2-0 lead

In Lyon, Gael Monfils outpaced David Nalbandian to put France on the verge of the final with a 2-0 lead over Argentina on Friday.

Earlier, Michael Llodra went all guns blazing to get the ball rolling with a 7-5, 4-6, 7-5, 6-3 win over Juan Monaco and Monfils followed up nicely by beating Nalbandian 6-4, 2-6, 6-4, 6-3.

France only need one more point to seal their place in the final against either Serbia or the Czech Republic. Llodra and Arnaud Clement will pair up in the doubles against Horacio Zeballos and Eduardo Schwank on Saturday.

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