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Novak Djokovic returns with easy victory for Serbia

BELGRADE, Serbia -- Serbia's Novak Djokovic, playing his first match since withdrawing in Dubai with infections in both eyes, easily beat Kazakhstan's Aleksandr Nedovyesov as the countries played to a 1-1 tie after the first day of their Davis Cup first-round matchup.

The top-ranked Djokovic, who seemed bothered by a sore shoulder, faced only one break point in his 6-1, 6-2, 6-3 victory.

"I lost some of the momentum in the third set, but it was enough to win the match," Djokovic said.

Mikhail Kukushkin beat Serbia's Viktor Troicki 7-5, 6-2, 6-4 in the late match.

Kukuskhin, who dominated Troicki throughout the match, says his victory could pave the way for a surprise win against the 2010 champion.

Djokovic and Nenad Zimonjic are slated to play in Saturday's doubles against Andrey Golubev and Nedovyesov.

In other Davis Cup first-round ties:

* France 2, Canada 0: Gilles Simon overcame a sloppy start to beat Vasek Pospisil in straight sets as France swept the opening matches with Yannick Noah as the team's new captain.

Simon trailed 5-0 in the opening set before rallying past Pospisil 7-5, 6-3, 6-3 in Baie-Mahault, Guadeloupe.

Gael Monfils earlier eased past Frank Dancevic 6-3, 6-1, 6-3 with a solid display in which he made just 17 unforced errors.

Richard Gasquet and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga are set to take on Philip Bester and Pospisil in Saturday's doubles rubber.

* Belgium 1, Croatia 1: David Goffin defeated Borna Coric in five sets to help the host country salvage a first-day tie in Liege, Belgium.

The 19-year-old Coric recovered from a two-set deficit to force a decider but lost as 16th-ranked Goffin put Belgium, last year's runner-up, back on track with a 6-3, 6-2, 2-6, 3-6, 6-3 victory.

Former US Open champion Marin Cilic earlier gave Croatia a 1-0 lead with a 7-5, 6-3, 7-5 win over Kimmer Coppejans.

The 122th-ranked Coppejans offered strong resistance in the first set but could not hold onto a 5-2 lead. He served for the set at 5-4 in the opener, and led 4-2 in the third set but Cilic, who hit 16 aces, used his greater experience to prevail on the red clay of the Country Hall.

Arthur de Greef is expected to make his Davis Cup debut for Belgium on Saturday, playing with Ruben Bemelmans in the doubles against Ivan Dodig and Franko Skugor.

* Czech Republic 1, Germany 1: Tomas Berdych defeated Davis Cup rookie Alexander Zverev, needing 4 hours, 20 minutes to prevail 7-6 (6), 1-6, 4-6, 7-6 (5), 6-4 as the countries finished all even Friday in Hannover, Germany.

Earlier, Philipp Kohlschreiber defeated Lukas Rosol 3-6, 6-3, 6-4, 2-6, 6-3 to give the home team the lead. Kohlschreiber, ranked 30th, converted his first match point to beat the 50th-ranked Czech.

Dustin Brown, set to play his second tie for Germany, was due to team up with Philipp Petzschner against Radek Stepanek and Jiri Vesely in Saturday's doubles, though changes are permitted and even expected. Kohlschreiber and Berdych could feature again.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.