Spain leads US in Davis Cup semifinal
GIJON, Spain—David Ferrer overcame a sluggish start to beat Sam Querrey 4-6, 6-2, 6-2, 6-4 to give Spain a 1-0 lead over the United States in their Davis Cup semifinal today.
Ferrer, who played in the U.S. Open semifinals on Sunday, started well with a break but eventually surrendered his only two service games of the match for the defending champions to trail after the first set.
Ferrer, leading the five-time champions with Rafael Nadal injured, improved to 15-0 on clay in the competition as Spain bids to reach its fourth final in five years.
Nicolas Almagro looks to give Spain a 2-0 advantage when he faces John Isner in the second singles later today.
The last time either team rallied back from losing the first match of their ties was 40 years ago—when the U.S. last beat Spain on home soil.
Querrey had taken a set off Nadal in his Davis Cup debut four years ago but couldn’t hold the momentum this time around at the purpose-built Hermanos Castros Park venue, where the wind gusted off the Bay of Biscay.
Ferrer broke Querrey in the first game but then showed signs he may not have gotten back into his clay groove with 46 unforced errors.
Querrey broke back with a forehand winner to even it at 4-4, and the lanky American jumped on his opponent’s patchy first serve to break again in the 10th game to take the set by forcing an awkward crosscourt return from Ferrer.
With neither player serving spectacularly—the pair combined for 12 double faults—Ferrer broke Querrey again to start the second set and again in the seventh game to eventually tie it 1-1.
In the third set, Ferrer forced Querrey into hitting long to lead 3-2 from the American’s 29th forced error. Ferrer took the third set on a run of six straight games won, including saving six break points on his opening serve of the final set.
The 26th-ranked Querrey didn’t relent in the fourth set as he pushed Ferrer until the ninth game when his backhand sprayed wide to be broken for the last time en route to defeat on the outdoor clay.
The doubles point is up for grabs on Saturday when Marcel Granollers and Marc Lopez play American brothers Mike and Bob Bryan, who are 5-0 against Spain. Reverse singles are scheduled for Sunday.
The winner plays either Argentina or the Czech Republic in November’s final.