San Diego is known around the world for its world famous animal parks such as San Diego Zoo and Sea World. For the next few days, the main attraction is at PETCO Park. This is usually the home of Baseball team, the San Diego Padres. But it is Tennis that will be the centre of attention for one weekend only.
Day one saw history made as Great Britain is on the verge of progressing to the quarter-finals for the first time since 1986, after winning both of Friday’s singles matches. An expecting straight sets win over Donald Young saw world number six Andy Murray begin proceedings in the opening rubber.
But by far the highlight of the day was British number two James Ward complete the unlikeliest of turnarounds over Sam Querrey, ranked 130 places higher then his English opponent.
Despite losing the first set 6-1 and battling through a tie-break in set number two, Ward looked to be out of his depth. After missing out on the third set and 4-2 down in the fourth, the whole match turned on its head.
Saving three break points on his own serve, Ward held his nerve and won ten out of the last eleven games to win a dramatic five-setter to give Great Britain the ultimate luxury in team Tennis.
With five-set wins over two well established top 50 players in Davis Cup matches, this may become Ward’s known speciality. But I am sure he will attempt to mirror his efforts on the challenger circuit and hopefully the main tour.
With American number one John Isner still having problems with his persistent ankle injury, it was Donald Young who stepped up to the plate and see if he could rise to the occasion in the opening rubber.
Sadly for the surprisingly quiet home crowd, Murray put the pressure on from the start of each set. This just added more nerves onto the world number 79’s shoulders and the writing was already on the wall. Murray’s solid all-round display made this a quick 6-1, 6-2, 6-3 win.
With a 2-0 lead, captain Leon Smith decided to rest Murray and go for Dom ‘The Bom’ Inglot with fellow doubles specialist Colin Fleming in Saturday’s doubles encounter.
Unfortunately, they were not able to prevail over the mighty Bryan brothers, as the Americans won out in four sets, 6-2 6-3 3-6 6-1.
It now leaves Murray with the first shot at making even more British tennis history, as victory over Querrey in Sunday’s first single would mean GB’s first victory in the Davis Cup over the USA since 1935.
It is always a brave man to state that any British Davis Cup victory is virtually guaranteed. But one thing is for sure is that history will be made for both sides.