Kraljevo, Serbia (SportsNetwork.com) - As expected, world No. 1 great Novak Djokovic gave Serbia a 1-0 lead in its' best-of-five opening-round Davis Cup affair versus Croatia.
The reigning Australian Open and Wimbledon champ cruised past helpless Croat Mate Delic, 6-3, 6-2, 6-4, on the indoor hardcourt at Kraljevo Sports Centre.
The 27-year-old eight-time Grand Slam champion Djokovic is now 27-7 in his career Davis Cup singles and led the Serbs to their lone championship in 2010. Serbia was also a runner-up two years ago.
Friday's other opening singles rubber pits resurgent Serb Viktor Troicki against rising young 18-year-old Croat Borna Coric.
Saturday's doubles call for Troicki and Nenad Zimonjic to face a Croatian tandem of Marin Draganja and Franko Skugor, while Sunday's reverse singles have Djokovic taking on the 61st-ranked Coric and the No. 41 Troicki meeting the 158th-ranked Delic.
Bogdan Obradovic captains Serbia, while Croatia is guided by Zeljko Krajan.
Serbia and 2005 titlist Croatia have a long political history, but they had previously only met once in Davis Cup since the division of Yugoslavia in the early 1990s. The Serbs got the better of that clash in 2010.
The winner in Kraljevo will face the Argentina-Brazil victor in a quarterfinal in July.