The Davis Cup tie between the United States and Russia was thrown into turmoil Friday when spring thunderstorms swept through Atlanta, forcing postponement of the first two singles matches.

The Russians balked at making up for the lost day with three matches today, since their best player, Yevgeny Kafelnikov, is playing both singles and doubles. Also, there's a chance the second Russian singles player, 18-year-old Marat Safin, might team up with Kafelnikov in doubles.So, after nearly two hours of tortuous negotiations, the International Tennis Federation announced that the first two singles in the best-of-5 series would begin today at 1 p.m.

American Jim Courier meets Kafelnikov in the opener, followed by Safin against Andre Agassi, who is one away from tying Bill Tilden's U.S. record of 16 consecutive Davis Cup singles victories.

The doubles will follow at 10 a.m. Sunday. The American team of Richey Reneberg and Todd Martin is scheduled to meet Kafelnikov and Andrei Olhovskiy, though Safin could be substituted up to an hour before the match.