Andy Murray handed Great Britain the ideal start to their Davis Cup clash against the United States last night with a straight-sets demolition of Donald Young in San Diego.
The Scot showed no ill-effects from his Australian Open exertions and had no apparent problems adapting to the newly-laid clay at Petco Park, home of the San Diego Padres baseball team, as he raced to a 6-1, 6-2 , 6-3 win.
Young, the world No 79 who replaced the injured John Isner in the US team, had no answer to Murray’s game as the Wimbledon champion wrapped up victory in the first rubber of this World Group quarter-final.
Murray went into the match on the back of a run to the quarter-finals in Melbourne and still feeling his way back into the rigours of the main tour after back surgery. But he needed no time to find his feet on Friday as he broke twice in each set to finish the match in one hour 38 minutes. He was dominant on serve, not even facing a break point in the first two sets and saving the two he did in the third, and laid brutally into Young’s second serve. “It’s important to get off to a good start,” said Murray.
Murray said the court had played slower than during practice over the past days because of the damper conditions, but added: “It’s still pretty slippy, it’s tough to change direction.”
American Sam Querrey went in as favourite against James Ward in the second singles rubber later last night. This is Britain’s first World Group quarter-final since 1986 and their last victory over the US in the competition came way back in 1935.
Meanwhile, Roger Federer and Stanislas Wawrinka gave Switzerland a 2-0 lead over last year’s runners-up Serbia while injury-hit Spain trailed Germany by the same margin as the Davis Cup World Group first-round ties got underway.
Serbia fielded a second string team without world No 2 Novak Djokovic, two months after they lost to the Czech Republic in the final, and were quickly under pressure in Novi Sad.
Federer beat 268th-ranked Ilija Bozoljac in straight sets while Wawrinka, fresh from winning his maiden grand slam title at the Australian Open, eased past Dusan Lajovic in four. Five-times champions Spain, without injured world No 1. Rafa Nadal and David Ferrer, got off to a poor start against Germany in Frankfurt with Davis Cup rookie Roberto Bautista Agut easily beaten by Philipp Kohlschreiber in straight sets. They put up more of a fight in the second rubber but a gutsy effort from Feliciano Lopez was eventually repelled by Florian Mayer after five sets with the fans on the edge of their seats.