Belgian Olivier Rochus has beaten American James Blake to give Belgium a 1-0 lead over the favored United States in their Davis Cup World Group playoff in Leuven, Belgium.
Rochus won the match in straight sets (6-4, 7-5, 6-1). Blake fought hard for the first two sets. But after hurting himself with unforced errors throughout the match, he played the third set as if he had accepted defeat. American Andy Roddick will try to even the score with the Belgians in his match with Rochus' brother, Christophe.
In other Davis Cup playoff action in Split, Croatia, Russia has taken the early lead in its playoff against Croatia as Nikolay Davydenko beat Mario Ancic (7-5, 6-4, 5-7, 6-4).
And in the Czech Republic, countryman Tomas Berdych made use of home-court advantage on his way to defeating German Tommy Haas in a match that took all five sets to complete (4-6, 4-6, 6-1, 7-6 (9), 6-3), giving the Czechs an early 1-0 lead in their playoff with Germany.
Some information for this report provided by AFP and AP.