David Ferrer overcame Sam Querrey in four sets on Friday to give reigning champion and host Spain a 1-0 lead over the United States in a best-of-five Davis Cup semifinal in Gijon.
The world No. 5 U.S. Open semifinalist Ferrer dropped the opening set in the opening singles rubber before fighting back for a 4-6, 6-2, 6-2, 6-4 victory on the red clay at Parque Hermanos Castro. The 6-foot-6 Querrey was unable to capitalize on his opportunities on Day 1, as he went just 2-for-14 on break- point chances, including a dismal 0-for-9 in the fourth set.
Querrey is now just 1-5 in his Davis Cup singles outings.
The second opening singles rubber currently pits 6-foot-9 American John Isner against world No. 12 Nicolas Almagro, who is filling in for Spanish great Rafael Nadal, the former No. 1 who is sidelined with a knee injury.
Isner is 5-3 in his career Davis Cup singles and has a couple of big wins for the U.S. already this year, as he stunned Roger Federer on clay in Switzerland in a first-round tie in February and topped Jo-Wilfried Tsonga on clay at the Monte Carlo Country Club in a quarterfinal showdown with France in April.
Saturday's doubles bout will pit American greats Bob Bryan and Mike Bryan against a Spanish duo of Marcel Granollers and Marc Lopez, while Sunday's reverse singles currently pit the world No. 10 Isner against Ferrer and the No. 26 Querrey versus Almagro.
Ferrer is a dominant 20-4 in Davis Cup singles, including 15-0 on clay, while Almagro is 7-2 overall, including 7-1 on the dirt.
The U.S. is captained by former No. 1 player Jim Courier, while Spain is captained by former world No. 2 star Alex Corretja.
Team USA and Spain have split 10 Davis Cup meetings, with the Spaniards winning the last two matchups, including a quarterfinal victory in Austin, Texas last year. Spain also beat team USA in the 2004 Davis Cup finale.
The United States boasts a record 32 Davis Cup titles, with its last one coming in 2007. The Americans won the inaugural prestigious team competition way back in 1900.
Spain beat Argentina in last year's World Group final in Seville, as the powerful Spaniards have won three-of-four and five of the last 12 Davis Cup titles. They have not lost at home, on clay, since 1999.
The winner between the U.S. and Spain will face the Argentina-Czech Republic victor in the 2012 final in November.