Gijon, Spain -- David Ferrer overcame Sam Querrey in four sets on Friday to give host Spain a 1-0 lead over the United States in their best-of-five Davis Cup semifinal in Gijon.
The world No. 5 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 second opening singles rubber on Day 1 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 due to a knee injury.
Mighty Spain is the reigning Davis Cup champion.
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.
Querrey is now just 1-5 in his career Davis Cup singles rubbers.
The U.S. is captained by former No. 1 player Jim Courier.
Ferrer is now 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.
Spain is captained by former top-five star Alex Corretja.
The U.S. 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 five of the last 12 Davis Cup titles.
The winner between the U.S. and Spain will face the Argentina-Czech Republic victor in the 2012 final in November.
The Sports Network