The United States moved to the brink of advancing out of its Davis Cup qualifying series by winning both singles matches against host Uzbekistan on Friday in Tashkent.
Mackenzie McDonald beat Sergey Fomin 6-4, 6-1 before Tommy Paul, fresh off reaching the Australian Open semifinals, defeated Khumoyun Sultanov 6-1, 7-6 (6).
Paul finished with a 6-1 edge in aces, though he converted only four of his 13 break-point opportunities.
The best-of-five series will conclude Saturday with a doubles match and the two reverse singles matches.
The winner of the series -- and the winner of the other 11 qualifying series being held worldwide this weekend -- will advance to the Davis Cup Finals group stage scheduled for mid-September. The 2022 champion, Canada, and runner-up, Australia, are already entered in the group stage, and two wild-card teams will be added.
In other Friday action, Germany and Switzerland split their first two singles matches in Trier, Germany. Switzerland's Marc-Andrea Huesler rallied past Oscar Otte 2-6, 6-2, 6-4 before Germany's Alexander Zverev downed Stan Wawrinka 6-4, 6-1.
Hungary and France are tied 1-1 in Tatabanya, Hungary, and Great Britain and Colombia are level at 1-1 in Cota, Colombia. Serbia holds a 2-0 lead on host Norway in Oslo, and host Sweden is up 2-0 on Bosnia and Herzegovina in Stockholm.
The other six series will start Saturday:
--Austria at Croatia in Rijeka
--Kazakhstan at Chile in La Serena
--Belgium at South Korea in Seoul
--Slovakia at Netherlands in Groningen
--Argentina at Finland in Espoo
--Czech Republic at Portugal in Maia
--Field Level Media