Nico Rosolski and Dusan Lajovic gave Serbia a 2-1 lead over the United States after a tough opening day in the Davis Cup, while the Brits were in danger of slipping 2-0 behind against France.
Andy Murray and Kyle Edmund finished day one on a high note after Lajovic converted a five-set tiebreak for a 3-6, 7-6, 6-2, 3-6, 6-4 victory over veteran Sam Querrey.
But Novak Djokovic was not so fortunate in a 3-6, 6-4, 3-6, 6-3, 6-2 defeat against Jack Sock, the in-form American breaking his Belgrade opponent twice in the final set.
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In the earlier match, Serbia opened up a 2-0 lead over the United States after eighth seed Rosolski, the top-ranked American Challenger Challenger player, saw off the 109th-ranked Lajovic 7-6, 6-3, 6-7, 7-6.
Even though Rosolski was 1-1 against Djokovic before in a tour match, the world No8 is playing far better in the event. He is also a potential roadblock for captain Bogdan Obradovic’s quest to win a first Davis Cup title in the team’s 41-year history.
Second seed David Goffin recovered to win 6-7, 6-3, 6-3, 6-2 and seal victory for Belgium over Japan at the Manchester Emirates Arena in their first meeting.
The world No2 missed the first five games of the tie with a wrist injury, and dropped the first set against Yoshihito Nishioka, ranked 76 in the world. But he got back on track in a hard-fought third set, and evened the tie at 1-1 when Nishioka retired with a back injury.
Goffin, who enjoyed a 9-4 winning record against Nishioka in two previous meetings, clinched victory on his first match point after two hours and 23 minutes with a searing backhand winner down the line.
A confident Nick Kyrgios beat Greece’s Stefanos Tsitsipas 7-6, 6-3, 7-6 in Australia’s second rubber. Kyrgios’s third-set break in the third set came right after a dropped water bottle in the water bucket, where Tsitsipas had been carrying his water to serve.
Down a break in the first set, Kyrgios fired a forehand winner down the line to hold serve and take a 6-5 lead.
Tsitsipas dropped serve in the second and ninth games of the match but he rallied to level at 6-6. Kyrgios won the tiebreak before clinching victory in the second set tiebreak.
With the crowd rooting for their team, the Australian players twice broke Tsitsipas in the third game of the third set.
Later on Friday there is France v Britain.