San Diego, CA (SportsNetwork.com) - The United States needed a doubles victory by Bob and Mike Bryan to stay alive in its best-of-five opening-round Davis Cup tie against Great Britain on Saturday, and that's exactly what happened.
The Americans pulled within 2-1 of the Brits when the mighty twin brothers topped a British duo of Colin Fleming and Dominic Inglot 6-2, 6-3, 3-6, 6-1 on Day 2 at Petco Park. Inglot played in place of Wimbledon champion Andy Murray, who is expected to play in Sunday's all-important first reverse singles rubber.
The 35-year-old Bryans improved to 22-4 together in Davis Cup competition.
Sunday's reverse singles currently have the world No. 6 Murray battling Sam Querrey and Donald Young taking on 175th-ranked Brit James Ward. Querrey is the highest-ranked American in San Diego, at No. 49 in the world, while Young is ranked 79th.
In Friday's opening singles, Murray manhandled Young 6-1, 6-2, 6-3 and Ward put forth a stirring rally to outlast Querrey in a five-set thriller, 1-6, 7-6 (7-3), 3-6, 6-4, 6-1, to give the visitors a seemingly commanding 2-0 lead.
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.