Fribourg (Switzerland), Feb 10: The United States took a 1-0 lead against Switzerland in their Davis Cup first-round series on Friday after Mardy Fish beat Stanislas Wawrinka 6-2, 4-6, 4-6, 6-1, 9-7 in a thrilling opening singles match.
Fish found the reserves to fight back after wasting a match point chance at 5-4 in the decider, and clinched victory six games later with a cushioned, crosscourt volley winner at the net.
An 86-minute final set saw wild shifts in momentum and emotion, before the eighth-ranked American improved his record to 3-0 against the 28th-ranked Wawrinka.
Roger Federer was next on court facing 17th-ranked American John Isner before a partisan 7,000 crowd at Fribourg Forum.
Fish finally silenced the raucous Swiss fans after a match lasting four hours, 17 minutes.
After overcoming early service problems, Fish used dogged defense to set up a first break chance before Wawrinka double faulted.
Fish used his sliced backhand to move Wawrinka around the court and broke again to clinch the set.
Wawrinka used more variety in the second, and got the key break in the seventh game by running to the net to hit a forehand crosscourt winner.
Wawrinka clinched the third set with a service winner and the American slammed his racket down on returning to his chair.
Fish responded strongly in the fourth after saving an early break point chance. He led 3-1 after firing a powerful return that Wawrinka could not deal with, then a second break was sealed by a deft winner at the net.
In the fifth, Fish forced Wawrinka to fend off a string of break chances and led 4-3 with serve. He held only after going 0-40 down, saving the first chance with a perfectly judged lob.
Serving for the match, Fish saved a break point with an overhead winner. A long rally on match point ended with Fish being wrongfooted by Wawrinka's powerful forehand winner.
Wawrinka leveled at 5-5 when Fish sent a forehand long, but lost serve to give Fish a 8-7 lead on his third break opportunity.
In a fluctuating final game, Fish trailed 15-40, reeled off three straight points, then saw a second match-point lost when Wawrinka unleashed a backhand service return down the line.
Fish's 14th ace created a third, and decisive, match point.