The 2014 Davis Cup starts Friday with the United States hosting Great Britain in a first round tie in San Diego.
The Americans will likely be the favorites in the tie, though victory is less certain that it was earlier in the week before two-time Winston-Salem Open champion John Isner pulled out with the same ankle injury that hampered him in the Australian Open.
Sam Querrey and Donald Young will play singles for the U.S., coming off of third round appearances in Australia, while the Bryan Brothers will handle doubles.
A study in contrasts, the British bring World No. 6 Andy Murray along with 175th-ranked James Ward to play singles. Murray will team up with Colin Fleming in doubles.
The USTA made a calculated decision to play the tie at San Diego’s Petco Park on a red clay court, hardly a favored surface of most American players. The move was likely an attempt to neutralize Murray, who despite his 28 career ATP titles has never won one on clay courts, and it looked like a better choice before Isner had to pull out of the tie.
Though not normally seen as a clay court player, Isner two years ago beat Roger Federer, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Gilles Simon in clay court Davis Cup matches, but his withdrawal throws Donald Young and his 1-11 Tour level clay court record into the fire.
For the Americans to win, Querrey and Young will likely have to take care of business against Ward and count on the Bryan Brothers to come through in doubles.
The matches will begin at 10:30 a.m. Pacific time (1:30 p.m. Eastern) on Friday, 11:30 a.m. Pacific on Saturday and 10:30 a.m. Pacific on Sunday. All the action will be broadcast live on the Tennis Channel.