David Ferrer defeated Sam Querrey, 4-6, 6-2, 6-2, 6-4. (Alvaro Barrientos / Associated…)
Even without facing Rafael Nadal, the United States is on the brink of elimination by the clay-court masters from Spain.
Sam Querrey and John Isner lost their opening singles matches Friday, giving the defending champions a 2-0 lead in the Davis Cup semifinals at Gijon, Spain.
David Ferrer put the hosts ahead in the best-of-five series with a 4-6, 6-2, 6-2, 6-4 win over Querrey. Nicolas Almagro beat Isner, 6-4, 4-6, 6-4, 3-6, 7-5, to leave Spain one point from its fourth final in five years.
Almagro overcame 25 aces from Isner, who saved three match points before hitting a forehand long.
The U.S. must win the doubles match Saturday to stay in the series, with brothers Mike and Bob Bryan facing Marcel Granollers and Marc Lopez. The Bryan twins are 4-0 when the U.S. has faced a 2-0 deficit, and 5-0 against Spain.
Reverse singles are Sunday. Spain is playing without injured Nadal, and the U.S. is without Andy Roddick, who retired after the U.S. Open.
The United States has only rallied back to win from a 0-2 deficit once in 38 series — in 1934 against Australia. Since the start of World Group play, Spain is 37-0 after winning both opening singles. The winner plays either Argentina or the Czech Republic in the final in November.
In Buenos Aires, Argentina's injured and emotional Juan Martin del Potro beat Radek Stepanek in the opening match, and the Czech Republic's Tomas Berdych evened the Davis Cup semifinal by topping Juan Monaco in the second match Friday.
Del Potro, told by doctors not to play because of an inflamed left wrist, beat Stepanek, 6-4, 6-4, 6-2, and then broke down crying as he addressed fans.
In Amsterdam, top-ranked Roger Federer beat Thiemo de Bakker in straight sets and Stanislas Wawrinka defeated Robin Haase to give Switzerland a 2-0 lead over the Netherlands in Davis Cup play.
Play was called off for the day at the Women's BritishOpen at Hoylake, England, because of strong wind that disrupted the second round so badly that organizers declared early scores "null and void."
With wind gusting to 60 mph at Royal Liverpool, players struggled to keep the ball on the tees and greens. Play was suspended at 8:25 a.m. with 36 players on the course and the round was called off at 2 p.m.
England's Felicity Johnson started with a quintuple-bogey nine. American Cristie Kerr's ball blew off the 12th tee three times. Co-leader So Yeon Ryu bogeyed her only hole, the 10th, before play was stopped.
The second round is scheduled to restart early Saturday, with conditions forecast to be more playable. Organizers said the cut will be reduced from 65 and ties to 50 and ties.
The final two rounds are set for Sunday, with a two-tee start and no redraw between rounds.
Ryu and fellow South Korean player Haeji Kang topped the leaderboard at two-under 70.
Australia's Peter Senior shot a seven-under 65 to take a one-stroke lead after the first round of the Champions Tour's inaugural Hawaii Championship at Kapolei.
Jay Don Blake and Bill Glasson were tied for second. Blake, coming off a victory three weeks ago in the Boeing Classic, finished with eight straight pars after making six birdies in an eight-hole stretch.
Mark McNulty and Eduardo Romero shot 67, and Charles Schwab Cup leader Tom Lehman was another stroke back along with Duffy Waldorf and Willie Wood.