Source: Agencies | 2013-2-3 | NEWSPAPER EDITION
TOP seed Spain moved to the brink of a shock Davis Cup exit on Friday when its weakened team slumped to a 0-2 deficit at the hands of Canada in a world group, first-round tie played on lightning quick Vancouver hardcourts.
Novak Djokovic was in no mood for upsets, however, and earlier got right back in the groove after his Australian Open triumph with a crushing defeat of Olivier Rochus as Serbia surged into a 2-0 lead in Belgium.
Holder Czech Republic was locked at 1-1 after the first day against a Switzerland side minus world No. 2 Roger Federer - Tomas Berdych levelling the tie after Lukas Rosol had been outplayed by Stanislas Wawrinka.
Germany's hopes of beating Argentina in Buenos Aires suffered a cruel blow, however, as Philipp Kohlschreiber was forced to retire with a hamstring injury when serving for the match at 5-4 in the fifth set against Carlos Berlocq.
A later win for Juan Monaco over Florian Mayer meant Argentina ended the day 2-0 ahead as did France and Kazakhstan in their ties against Israel and Austria, respectively.
Croatia and Italy were locked at 1-1 in Turin while the United States took a 2-0 lead over Brazil in Jacksonville after Sam Querrey dispatched Thomaz Bellucci 6-3, 6-4, 6-4 and John Isner thumped Thiago Alves 6-3, 7-6 (4), 6-3.
Spain, five-time winner of the Davis Cup, was weakened by the absence of top 15 players Rafael Nadal, David Ferrer and Nicolas Almagro and the Canadians, who have never won a world group tie, pounced to take advantage.
Big-serving Milos Raonic was expected to bludgeon his way past Alberto Ramos and duly delivered a 6-7 (5), 6-4, 6-4, 6-4 win over the world No. 51.
Frank Dancevic, ranked 161, provided the real shock of the day, though, humbling world No. 34 Marcel Granollers 6-1, 6-2, 6-2 to give his country a 2-0 lead going into the doubles.
Less than a week after claiming a third consecutive Australian Open title by beating Andy Murray in Melbourne, world No. 1 Djokovic quickly adapted to the indoor claycourt in Charleroi to blow away Rochus 6-3, 6-2, 6-2.
Serbia's Viktor Troicki, playing in place of the absent Janko Tipsarevic, rallied to beat David Goffin 1-6, 3-6, 7-6 (5), 6-4, 6-4 in the opening rubber.