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Score Tied Between Italy & Croatia; France, USA In Commanding Position

World Group First Round

Cilic© Getty ImagesMarin Cilic gave Croatia a 1-0 lead over Italy. reviews Friday's play in the Davis Cup World Group first-round ties.

Palavela, Turin, Italy

The score is locked at 1-1 in Turin after the first day’s play. Marin Cilic battled past Paolo Lorenzi 6-1, 6-7(6), 4-6, 6-3, 6-2 to give Croatia the early lead over Italy. In three hours and 43 minutes, Cilic committed 72 errors, but hit 53 winners to Lorenzi’s 25 as he claimed his 17th win in Davis Cup competition (17-12 record). However, World No. 18 Andreas Seppi hit back for the host nation, defeating Ivan Dodig 6-2, 6-7(2), 6-4, 6-4 in three hours to claim his 14th Davis Cup win. Italy, the Davis Cup champion in 1976, has not won a first-round match in the World Group since 1998.

Kindarena, Rouen, France
France ended the first day’s play with a commanding 2-0 lead over Israel after wins for Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Richard Gasquet. World No. 8 Tsonga hit 19 aces and 63 winners to beat Amir Weintraub 6-3, 6-3, 4-6, 7-5 in two hours and 23 minutes to clinch the opening singles rubber, before No. 10-ranked Gasquet dismissed Dudi Sela 6-3, 6-2, 6-2, converting six of his seven break points in the one hour and 50 minute-long match. Nine-time champion France is hoping to improve its 3-0 record against 2009 semi-finalist Israel.

Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena, Jacksonville, USA
Sam Querrey and John Isner each won their home Davis Cup debuts to put the USA ahead of Brazil 2-0 heading into Saturday's doubles rubber. Querrey won 45 of his 47 first serve points to beat Thomaz Bellucci 6-3, 6-4, 6-4 in the opening rubber. Isner, the top-ranked American, then consolidated Querrey’s win by defeating Thiago Alves 6-3, 7-6(4), 6-3. Isner saved two set points in the second set en route to prevailing in one hour and 57 minutes. "It wasn't exactly pretty, but I knew that may be the case going into this match today because I'm real short on match practice," said Isner, adding that he was pleased with the outcome.

Thunderbird Sports Centre, Vancouver, Canada
Victories for both Milos Raonic and Frank Dancevic gave Canada a 2-0 lead over Spain. Raonic came from behind to defeat Albert Ramos 6-7(5), 6-4, 6-4, 6-4 in the opening rubber. Th top-ranked Canadian landed 26 aces, double his opponent's 13. He also never faced a break point. Dancevic, the World No. 166, made 42 winners in a dominant performance against Spain's Marcel Granollers, winning 6-1, 6-2, 6-2 in one hour and 48 minutes. The Niagara Falls-resident saved all 13 break points that he faced.  Canada could even its head-to-head record against five-time champion Spain at 1-1, if it wins the tie.

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