The first day of the Davis Cup finals is in the books, and the scores are exactly where everyone figured they'd be: all tied up. Novak Djokovic of Serbia (world No. 2) bested Radek Stepanek, 7-5, 6-1, 6-4, while Tomas Berdych of the defending champion Czech Republic managed to take down rookie Dusan Lajovic, 6-3, 6-4, 6-3.
Djokovic will have to carry Serbia to victory if they're to win their second ever Davis Cup championship. Janko Tipsarevic is dealing with a chronic heel injury and had to miss his match on Friday, leaving Lajovic to take on Berdych, a perennial top 10 contender.
Now, Stepanek and Berdych will team up for doubles on Saturday, and they stand a chance to take the lead. Rather, the matchup calendar says it will be Jan Hajek and Lukas Rosol who will represent the Czech Republic, but it's likely too big an opportunity to let Stepanek and Berdych sit on the sidelines.
They are 13-1 in doubles matchups at the Davis Cup, though it's unclear who their opponent will be. Nenad Zimonjic is a doubles specialist, but whether he'll team up with Djokovic or someone else is unknown.
Djokovic will have to take on Berdych in reverse singles on Sunday, so he may want to rest. Then again, if Serbia falls in the doubles matchup, it will be incredibly hard to bounce back on Sunday given that they are without Tipsarevic. But then you have the added factor of Djokovic burning himself out with three-straight matches.
It's a bad situation for Serbia. Stepanek and Berdych are good together in doubles, and even if Djokovic played, they still might be favored. Djokovic is the world No. 2 player, but he's almost exclusively a singles competitor. It should be interesting, to say the least.
Saturday's matchup will begin at 10 a.m. ET (4 p.m. local time), and will be shown on the Tennis Channel. There's no network television coverage, so if you don't get the Tennis Channel, you won't be able to watch on your TV. The Davis Cup official website will have a live stream available, however.