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.