Spain beat Serbia in their opener of the Davis Cup group stage on Wednesday as US Open champion Carlos Alcaraz watched, but Britain and Andy Murray lost to the States -United.
Alcaraz, who made his Davis Cup debut in a qualifier against Romania in March, only arrived in Valencia on Tuesday after becoming the youngest men’s world number one in history with Sunday’s triumph in New York, AFP reported.
With Rafael Nadal also out against a Serbia side in the absence of Novak Djokovic, Albert Ramos-Vinolas won the opener against Laslo Djere 2-6, 7-6 (7/5), 7-5.
Roberto Bautista Agut secured the Group B tie for Spain by beating Miomir Kecmanovic 7-6 (7/5), 7-6 (7/5) in second singles.
“The best experiences of my life playing tennis have been in this competition,” said Bautista Agut.
“Today I really enjoyed playing in front of the Spanish crowd in Valencia, near my hometown. I’m exhausted because it was a tough game and we (still) have a lot of work to do this week.”
Marcel Granollers and Pedro Martínez sealed a 3-0 victory by winning the double over Nikola Cacic and Dusan Lajovic 6-7 (5/7), 6-2, 6-2.
USA’s Jack Sock and Rajeev Ram sealed a 2-1 victory over Great Britain in Group D in Glasgow, edging Murray and Joe Salisbury 5-7, 6-4, 7-5 in a match in thrilling double that ended well after midnight. .
“We were playing against one of the biggest legends in the game, playing in his home country,” Sock said of Murray.
“It was an electric atmosphere. We held on and took the win.”
Ram said it was not easy being on the other side of the net from regular doubles partner Salisbury.
“It’s tricky, we’ve been playing together for four years. But we go out and compete as best we can,” Ram said. “Playing for our country is huge for us.”
Earlier, world number eight Cameron Norrie overcame 12th-placed Taylor Fritz, 2-6, 7-6 (7/2), 7-5 to take Great Britain level with a draw after Tommy Paul had defeated Dan Evans in three sets in the opening rubber.
– ‘The guys gave their all’ –
The late arrival meant the American players would only have a few hours off until they were back on the pitch on Thursday to face Kazakhstan.
“These guys gave it their all, Team GB gave it their all,” USA captain Bob Bryan said.
“It’s 0100 on a Thursday. We have to leave in 1 p.m. Kazakhstan won’t be any easier.”
Lorenzo Musetti and Matteo Berrettini gave Italy the perfect start to the campaign with victory over Croatia in Bologna.
Musetti, 20, beat Borna Gojo 6-4, 6-2 in Group A.
Former Wimbledon finalist Berrettini had to fight back after a set against Cincinnati Masters champion Borna Coric but won 6-7 (4/7), 6-2, 6-1.
Simone Bolelli and Fabio Fognini beat Nikola Mektic and Mate Pavic in the final set tie-break to complete a 3-0 sweep.
Italy have high hopes of winning only a second Davis Cup title and the first since 1976.
Their top-ranked player Jannik Sinner could still be ready to play against Argentina on Friday.
Germany started Group C with a first Davis Cup victory against France since 1938 after Tim Puetz and Kevin Krawietz beat Nicolas Mahut and Arthur Rinderknech in the doubles in Hamburg.
“Making a positive story is always great,” said Germany captain Michael Kohlmann, whose country had lost all eight previous meetings with the French.
“Today was like a roller coaster, but in the end it’s a big win. It’s huge for us.”
Jan-Lennard Struff beat Benjamin Bonzi 6-4, 2-6, 7-5 to put the home side ahead, before Adrian Mannarino equalized with a 6-4, 6-3 win over Oscar Otte.