Murray, Ward give Brits 2-0 Davis Cup lead over U.S.
San Diego, CA (SportsNetwork.com) - Wimbledon champion Andy Murray and James Ward each won their singles rubbers to stake Great Britain to a 2-0 lead over the host United States in their best-of-five opening-round Davis Cup tie.
Murray manhandled American left-hander Donald Young 6-1, 6-2, 6-3 in 1 hour, 38 minutes at San Diego's Petco Park, while Ward put forth a stirring rally to outlast Sam Querrey 1-6, 7-6 (7-3), 3-6, 6-4, 6-1 in a five-set thriller.
The world No. 6 Murray struck seven aces, broke Young's serve six times, and held his serve throughout on Day 1.
Ward, meanwhile, prevailed in a crucial second-set tiebreak to even his bout with Querrey, then later came through with his first two breaks of the match to force a fifth and deciding set. The 26-year-old London native broke Querrey three more times in the final set to take the 3-hour, 11-minute battle and put Great Britain one point away from advancing to the quarterfinals.
Young was making his Davis Cup debut Friday, playing in place of America's top performer, John Isner, who is sidelined with an ankle injury.
Bob and Mike Bryan will attempt to keep the U.S. alive in Saturday's doubles rubber, where they will face the British duo of Murray and Colin Fleming.
Sunday's reverse singles have Murray battling Querrey and Young taking on the 175th-ranked Ward. Querrey is the highest-ranked American in San Diego, at No. 49 in the world, while Young is ranked 79th.
The matches are being staged on red clay at Petco Park in a temporary stadium built in left field, with a capacity of 8,000, including 6,000 temporary seats.
Petco Park is 42,000-seat baseball stadium that serves as the home of the San Diego Padres.
This is the first time Davis Cup is being played in an open-air baseball stadium in the United States and the first time the U.S. Davis Cup team has hosted a tie on clay since the 1992 semifinals, when the Americans beat Sweden 4-1 in Minneapolis.
This particular tie marks a renewal of the Davis Cup's oldest rivalry. The 32-time champion U.S. and nine-time winner Britain first met in the first-ever tie in 1900. The U.S. last faced the Brits in the opening round in 1999 in England and won 3-2 when current American captain Jim Courier rallied in the fifth and deciding rubber to defeat Greg Rusedski in the fifth set, 8-6.
The U.S. is 11-7 versus Great Britain in Davis Cup play, winning the last four ties. Britain's last win in the series came way back in 1935. The 1999 first-round tie was the only meeting between the two nations under the current World Group format.
The Brits, captained by Leon Smith, are in the World Group for the first time since 2008.
The United States-Great Britain winner will face the Argentina-Italy victor in a quarterfinal in April.
01/31 20:03:33 ET