SANTIAGO, Chile -- John Isner played another long match. This one ended before he could pull out a win.
The American, who won the longest match in tennis history at Wimbledon last year, lost a five-set marathon to Paul Capdeville on Friday, leaving the United States with a split of its Davis Cup matches against Chile after Andy Roddick took the opener.
The 165th-ranked Capdeville gave Chile a big lift in the first round by rallying to defeat Isner 6-7 (5), 6-7 (2), 7-6 (3), 7-6 (5), 6-4.
"It's always really difficult to win when you're two sets behind," said Capdeville, Chile's highest-ranked player. "The people were screaming every point and I never felt tired. I always was saying, 'Come on, Come on, I can do it, I can do it.'
"And I did it," he said.
Isner served 38 aces to 11 for Capdeville, but the Chilean had the only break in the next-to-last game of the 4-hour, 21-minute match when a tired Isner netted an overhead smash.
Isner won the record-setting match at Wimbledon last year, beating Nicolas Mahut 70-68 in the fifth set after 11 hours, 5 minutes over two days.
Roddick opened with a 6-2, 4-6, 6-3, 6-4 win over Nicolas Massu, the 2004 Olympic gold medalist in singles and doubles.
"It was fun to get out there and battle again," said Roddick, making his first Davis Cup appearance since 2009.
Jim Courier, in his debut as the U.S. Davis Cup captain, was not surprised that the first day ended with a split.
"I'm proud of both of these guys for going to battle out there and it went the way we thought it would today," said Courier, who helped the U.S. win the Davis Cup in 1992 and 1995. "We don't control outcomes, we control efforts and both John and Andy gave great efforts today.
"We have to tip our hats to Paul, he hung in there. All week we kept hearing the Chilean team is the underdog, underdog, underdog, but we knew we were going to see this," he said.
A tired Isner, who said he was beginning to cramp at the end of the match, dumped an overhead smash into the net on his second break point of the ninth game of the fifth set. That put Capdeville in position to serve out the match.
"I didn't play the big points well," Isner said. "I made too many mistakes and I just let it get away from me.
"He played better than me so he deserves it," he said.
Capdeville, who was treated on court for a left thigh problem in the fifth set, had a 15-40 advantage on Isner's serve in the fifth and seventh games of the fifth set. Isner managed to save his serve on both of those occasions.
Capdeville won one of 11 break-point opportunities, while Isner was unsuccessful on eight break-point chances.
Doubles in the best-of-five World Group series is Saturday, with top-ranked Bob and Mike Bryan facing Jorge Aguilar and Massu. Reverse singles are Sunday -- Roddick vs. Capdeville and Isner vs. Massu. The first-round winner plays Belgium or Spain in the quarterfinals.
The U.S. entered the series with the rankings in its favor -- Roddick is No. 8 and Isner No. 32. None of the three Chileans is in the top 150.