Day 1 Disappointment For US Davis Cup Team at Petco Park
Todor Kitchev, Tennis East Coast
The Davis Cup match between the USA and Great Britain took place at Petco Park in San Diego, California at a clay court specifically built for the occasion. The weather on Day 1 was cloudy with temperatures in the high 50s/low 60s.
Since it was played on a Friday, the stands were about 2/3 full with a lot of support from British fans.
In the first match, World #6 Andy Murray was paired against Donald Young (#79). Murray was off to a fast start, breaking Young in his first 2 service games while holding three times for a 5:0 lead.
The American then won his first game, but Murray held comfortably to close out the first set. Murray’s aggressive play continued in the second set and he was quickly up 5:1, once again breaking Young twice while holding his own serve 3 times. Young did not have an answer to Murray’s deep backhands and he often found himself on the back foot trailing in the points.
Murray won the second set 6:2.
The third set was the most competitive one. The world #6 broke and then held to take a 3:1 lead. After Young held serve for 3:2, Murray faced his only break points in the whole match. The first one was saved by a 136 mph serve and the second – by a beautiful backhand–slice lob. That seem to dishearten Young and he quickly lost the third set 6:3 and just like that Great Britain took 1:0 lead.
James Ward (GB) def. Sam Querrey (USA) 1:6 7:6(3) 3:6 6:4 6:1
The second match of Day 1 offered great drama. Sam Querrey started great, breezing through the first set 6:1 and serving first serve bombs at more than 130 mph. In the second set, there were no breaks of serve even though at 3:3 James Ward was down 0:40 but was able to save all 3 break points faced. The set went to a tiebreak and at 3 points all Ward won the next 4 points to level the match at 1 set a piece. In the third set, Querrey was up to a 3:0 start and after each player held serve 3 times, the American won the set 6:3. The scenario repeated again in the fourth set – an early break for Querrey and a 4:2 lead.
And this is when the unthinkable happened.
After not being broken the whole match and only 2 service games away from winning the match, Sam Querrey’s serve and game inexplicably collapsed and he lost 8 games in a row before breaking Ward to trail 1:4 in the deciding fifth set. But it was too little, too late as Ward broke right back and served out the match comfortably to give Great Britain a 2:0 lead after Day 1.
(Photos: (C) Todor Kitchev)