Courier Gives U.S. Early Lead : Tennis: He rallies to post four-set victory in opening singles match of Davis Cup semifinals against Sweden.

From Associated Press

Jim Courier, in trouble early against unheralded Nicklas Kulti, rallied to win in four sets Friday, giving the United States a 1-0 lead over Sweden in the Davis Cup semifinal.

Kulti served for a 2-0 lead in sets, but was broken by Courier, who went on to win, 4-6, 7-6 (7-1), 6-3, 7-5, on the red clay at Target Center.

Andre Agassi met Stefan Edberg in Friday's second match.

Courier, the world's second-ranked player, was broken twice in the opening set by the 71st-ranked Kulti, who wasn't even on Sweden's Davis Cup team until Magnus Gustafsson injured his ankle last week.

Kulti was up 5-3 in the second and fourth sets and served for each set at 5-4, but lost each time.

Trailing 30-40 when serving at 5-4 in the second, he wasn't able to return an overhead by Courier. Kulti batted the ball to the clay with his racquet, the 21-year-old Swede's first show of emotion.

In the tiebreaker, Kulti lost all four points on his serve and Courier closed out the set with an ace.

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