Troicki, Djokovic lift Serbia to first Davis Cup title

Serbia's Viktor Troicki celebrates a point against France's Michael Llodra during their Davis Cup...

Serbia's Viktor Troicki celebrates a point against France's Michael Llodra during their Davis Cup final tennis match in Belgrade December 5, 2010. (REUTERS/Marko Djurica)

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, Last Updated: 12:39 PM ET

BELGRADE, Serbia -- U.S. Open runner-up Novak Djokovic forced a deciding fifth rubber and Viktor Troicki won it to give Serbia its first-ever Davis Cup title with a 3-2 victory over nine-time champion France in the 2010 World Group final.

The world No. 30 Troicki steamrolled France's Michael Llodra 6-2, 6-2, 6-3 in a lopsided final bout, prompting a Serbian celebration inside a jam-packed Belgrade Arena. Troicki replaced Janko Tipsarevic in the Serbian lineup on Day 3, while the 30-year-old lefthanded Llodra, ranked 23rd in the world, stepped in for former top-10 performer Gilles Simon for France.

Troicki's heroics were set-up by the world No. 3 Djokovic, who got the reverse singles going with a 6-2, 6-2, 6-4 pasting of 12th-ranked Frenchman Gael Monfils. Djokovic went 2-0 in his singles encounters this week.

The 24-year-old Troicki, a doubles loser here on Saturday, then flattened Llodra in 2 hours, 13 minutes by piling up eight service breaks, including a tie-ending one, compared to only two for the French loser, who was a dramatic doubles winner alongside Arnaud Clement here on Day 2.

Team Serbia was on the court hugging each other, while the frenzied crowd was on its feet shouting for their heroes. A dejected Llodra, meanwhile, was in tears as his French teammates surrounded him.

Serbian Tennis Federation president Slobodan Zivojinovic promised he would shave his head if his team captured the Davis Cup, and, sure enough, the Serbian players sat him down and took some clippers to his head. And Djokovic had a cross sheared into his hair by Tipsarevic.

In Sunday's opener, Monfils threatened to get back into his match against Djokovic in the third set, as he broke the Serb, who promptly smashed his racquet in rage, and then served with a 4-3 lead. But Djokovic broke the acrobatic Frenchman right back, then held his own serve, and broke Monfils once again to close out the crucial rubber in straights.

Djokovic piled up seven breaks, compared to only two for Monfils, and tallied 33 more winners (94-61) en route to the clutch victory. The Serbian star managed three breaks in the tight third set.

"This is one of the best matches I've played in my career in the circumstances," Djokovic said.

The 23-year-old Djokovic, who won all six of his sets this week, is now 19-6 in his career Davis Cup singles, while the 24-year-old Monfils dropped to 4-2.

France grabbed a 2-1 lead on Saturday when Llodra and Clement, who trailed two-sets-to-love, came all the way back to stun their Serbian counterparts Troicki and Nenad Zimonjic 3-6, 6-7 (3-7), 6-4, 7-5, 6-4. The French tandem needed 4 hours, 34 minutes to complete a gutsy comeback.

In Friday's opening singles, Monfils opened the best-of-five tie by pouncing all over Tipsarevic 6-1, 7-6 (7-4), 6-0, while the nightcap on the indoor hardcourts here saw the former Australian Open champion Djokovic humble Simon 6-3, 6-1, 7-5.

The victorious Serbian captain this week was Bogdan Obradovic, while the visiting French were piloted by Guy Forget. France is still seeking a 10th Davis Cup championship, with its last one coming back in 2001. Only the United States (32) and Australia (28) have lifted the Davis Cup more than the French.

Serbia, which played in its first-ever final this week, is part of the former Yugoslavia, which went 4-4 all-time against the French in previous Davis Cup play. France and Serbia were meeting for the first time


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