Heavy rain delayed the start of play in Great Britain's Davis Cup quarter-final against Italy in Naples.

The tie was the only one of the last-eight clashes being played outdoors and that began to look like an unwise choice as puddles formed on the clay courts at the Tennis Club Napoli.

With the forecast poor for the rest of Friday and mixed for Saturday, there was the distinct possibility of the tie being extended into Monday.

The good news for Britain was it gave Andy Murray extra time to recover from the virus that laid him low for much of Thursday.

The Wimbledon champion, due to play the second singles match against Andreas Seppi, was able to take part in practice on Thursday evening.

British number two James Ward and Italian number one Fabio Fognini were due to play the first singles match and they finally took to the court at 1.40pm local time.

The rain had stopped some time earlier but a lot of water had got in under the covers, requiring a significant clean-up operation.

The clay around the edges of the court remained wet, casting doubt over how the surface would hold up.