Sebastian Korda outlasted a resilient Nicolas Mejia and Taylor Fritz took care of business vs. Alejandro Gonzalez to stake the U.S. a 2-0 lead over Colombia after Day 1 in this Davis Cup by Rakuten Qualifying tie in Reno, Nevada.
Korda, making his Davis Cup debut, scored a 6-4, 1-6, 6-4 victory over his longtime friend Mejia in a spirited match that lasted just over 2 hours, then Fritz dispatched Gonzalez, 6-1, 6-0, in 53 minutes on the hardcourt inside the Reno Events Center.
“It’s special,” Korda said. “I grew up watching Davis Cup because my dad coached Radek Stepanek, and Davis Cup was one of the biggest things for him.
“It was extremely special to have my debut and I win. It’s truly special, especially playing a friend like Nico. We kind of grew up in juniors, we traveled. We practiced so many times. I knew his game, he knew my game.
“Just a lot of fun today. The crowd was just epic.”
It sets the Americans up to potentially clinch victory in a blockbuster doubles match that leads off Saturday pitting Jack Sock and Rajeev Ram against Juan Sebastian Cabal and Robert Farah. Those four players have won nine Grand Slam men’s doubles titles combined and have all been ranked in the Top 5 in doubles.
Play begins at 1 p.m. local time, 4 p.m. ET on Saturday. Tennis Channel will have live coverage in the U.S.
Sebastian Korda (USA) d. Nicolas Mejia (COL), 6-4, 1-6, 6-4
Taylor Fritz (USA) d. Alejandro Gonzalez (COL), 6-1, 6-0
Saturday, March 5 (starting at 1 p.m. local time)
Jack Sock and Rajeev Ram (USA) vs. Juan Sebastian Cabal and Robert Farah (COL)
Taylor Fritz (USA) vs. Nicolas Mejia (COL)*
Sebastian Korda (USA) vs. Alejandro Gonzalez (COL)*
*If necessary. The first country to win three matches wins the tie. If one country clinches victory in the third or fourth match, Saturday’s schedule may be amended.