Great Britain and Serbia & Montenegro ended the first day of their Davis Cup tie in Glasgow level at 1-1.
GB 1-1 SERBIA & MONTENEGRO
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Greg Rusedski gave Great Britain a vital early lead, needing six match points before finally seing off Janko Tipsarevic 6-3 6-7 (2-7) 7-5 7-5.
With Andy Murray out of the opening day, Arvind Parmar faced Novak Djokovic in the second singles rubber.
And world number 64 Djokovic proved far too strong for the Briton, the 18-year-old winning 6-3 6-2 7-5.
Murray, who has been suffering from a bacterial infection, is due to return in Saturday's crucial doubles and Rusedski allayed fears over his partner's fitness.
"Andy looks fine. He's smiling, he's happy, he's the same as he always is," said Rusedski, who will partner Murray against Nenad Zimonjic and Ilia Bozoljac.
"He's been playing a little bit of football in the locker room, he's eating his junk food like normal so he's very happy. I think you'll be happy to see him on Saturday.
"I don't have too many concerns. He had an extra practice session on Thursday so I'm pretty confident he'll be looking good for the rest of the tie."
In the opening singles match on Friday, Rusedski eased through the opening set against Tipsarevic, breaking in game seven, but found it much tougher going in the second.
Tipsarevic took the tie-break 7-2 and both players had break points in the crucial third before Rusedski capitalised in game 12 on his second set point.
It was a similar story in the fourth until a dramatic 10th game that saw Rusedski let five match points slip away.
But the 32-year-old was not rattled and kept up his superb form on serve before converting his sixth match point with a forehand winner.
"I was really pleased with the way I played today," said Rusedski. "There is a lot of pressure out there and I'm very pleased to come off in four sets.
"It's been a long while since I've tested myself over three hours so that's definitely a big plus for me today. So far the body feels great so I have no complaints."
Parmar had failed to win any of his five previous Davis Cup matches, and never looked like ending that depressing statistic against world number 64 Djokovic.
The only moment of concern for the 18-year-old Serb came in the fourth game of the second set when he fell heavily on his right arm.
However he was able to continue after treatment and promptly recovered from 40-15 down to break Parmar's serve and went on to seal victory in one hour 56 minutes.
Parmar said: "I felt I played pretty well at times but Djokovic is a class player.
"He and Andy Murray stood out for me last year. They can adapt their games to any style of play."