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Britain takes 2-0 lead over US in Davis Cup

February 1, 2014

SAN DIEGO (AP) — James Ward won 10 of the last 11 games to take a stunning five-set victory against Sam Querrey and give Britain a 2-0 lead against the United States in the first round of the Davis Cup on Friday at Petco Park.

Ward was two games from losing the match when he began a fightback that gave him a 1-6, 7-6 (3), 3-6, 6-4, 6-1 victory. With dusk approaching and the lights on at the downtown baseball park, Ward won the match with an overhand smash that brought his teammates to their feet in celebration.

Ward’s victory in 3 hours, 11 minutes, followed Wimbledon champion Andy Murray’s easy straight-set victory against Donald Young on the temporary red clay court in left field at the home of the San Diego Padres.

“It’s great to be around a group of guys you don’t really have the support of normally, every week of the year,” Ward said “It’s certainly a different feeling. You’re not just playing for yourself, you’re playing for everyone else.”

Britain can clinch the series on Saturday if it wins the doubles match. Murray and Colin Fleming are scheduled to face Bob and Mike Bryan.

Querrey, the United States’ No. 1 singles player in this tournament, had a 4-2 lead in the fourth set after winning the sixth game to love. But Ward won the next four games and the set to force a deciding fifth set. He jumped to a 4-0 lead in the fifth set before Querrey broke serve to pull to 4-1. Ward then closed out the match.

Ward didn’t break Querrey’s serve until the eighth game of the fourth set to tie it at 4-4.

“Sam served really well from the beginning to the first three sets,” Ward said. “It wasn’t me returning badly. He made a lot of good serves. But in the end I got some chances and it happened.”

Querrey was left to rue some unconverted opportunities to finish the match before Ward got his momentum.

“A few break points that I had earlier, maybe if I had come through on those it could have been different,” Querrey said. “I started missing a few first serves when I needed them. But he did a good job of putting returns in later in the match and ended the match.”

Murray overwhelmed Young in 1:38 in the opener. The American forced four deuces on Murray’s serve in the sixth game of the third set, but was otherwise a distinct second-best.

“I gave him very few opportunities when I was serving,” said Murray, who was grateful for a short singles match as he is involved in the doubles too and is still below full fitness following back surgery.

“Weekends like this you want to try conserve as much energy as you can when possible. Days can be quite long, and playing three days in a row is challenging so it’s good to get one three sets so we have options when we play tomorrow.”

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