What was already a rugged assignment became significantly more difficult when the United States lost its opening two singles matches Friday against host Spain in the Davis Cup semifinals on clay at Gijon.
David Ferrer, coming off a semifinal spot at the recently completed U.S. Open, beat Sam Querrey after a slow start, winning, 4-6, 6-2, 6-2, 6-4, in the opener.
Then American John Isner followed with one of his trademark five-setters but lost to Nicolas Almagro. Almagro won the marathon, 6-4, 4-6, 6-4, 3-6, 7-5.
Isner is now 4-10 in career five-set matches, and, in fact, exited in each of the four Grand Slams in 2012 with losses in five sets.