Spain take lead over USA
Austin - World No 6 David Ferrer defeated 10th-ranked hometown hero Andy Roddick to give Spain a 2-0 lead on Friday after the opening day of their Davis Cup quarter-final tie.
The Spaniards, seeking their third trophy in four years, moved to the brink of victory in the best-of-five match-up when Ferrer downed Roddick 7-6 (11/9), 7-5, 6-3.
Spain had seized the lead in the opening singles match when Feliciano Lopez outlasted eighth-ranked Mardy Fish in a four-hour showdown 6-4, 3-6, 6-3, 6-7 (2/7), 8-6.
Roddick led 4-2 in the first set and 3-0 in the second but could not hold his advantages over Ferrer.
"To beat Andy in three sets is very difficult. It was tough," Ferrer said. "We had good results today. We know it's not finished."
Roddick, who fell to 33-12 in Davis Cup singles, double faulted on the final two points of the match.
"I tried to win entire match in the third set," Roddick said. "If I lose at Wimbledon, it's on me. It's tough. I don't beat myself up over that, but when I let down my team, it hurts more. This loss hurts more than my selfish losses."
For the Americans to advance, Roddick would need to defeat Lopez on Sunday. Lopez won their first seven meetings but lost the most recent one only two weeks ago at Wimbledon.
"We're not out of this," Roddick vowed. "This is far from over."
The Americans also need a victory from the world's top-ranked doubles squad, brothers Mike and Bob Bryan, over Lopez and Fernando Verdasco on Saturday to keep their hopes of advancement alive into Sunday's reverse singles matches.
"We knew they were favored playing at home," Lopez said. "Winning the first point was very important, more important for us than for them."
The Spaniards won titles in 2004, 2008 and 2009 and are playing without World No. 2 Rafael Nadal, who pulled out of the tie in order to rest after reaching the Wimbledon final.