HARTFORD, CONN., JULY 23 -- The long-awaited matchup between John McEnroe and Boris Becker will take place Friday when the United States and West Germany meet in their Davis Cup series.

McEnroe and Becker will play in the second singles match on the first day of a three-day, five-match competition.

McEnroe, who hasn't played competitively since his first-round loss in the French Open in May, said he would have preferred to meet Becker in the "reverse" singles Sunday.

The relegation-round series will begin at 1 p.m. Friday with Tim Mayotte playing West Germany's Eric Jelen on the artificial surface at the Hartford Civic Center. Saturday, Ken Flach and Robert Seguso, the Wimbledon champions, will meet Becker and Jelen in doubles. Sunday, McEnroe will play Jelen and Mayotte will meet Becker.

Both the United States and West Germany were upset in the first round of the Davis Cup's World Group competition. The World Group is made up of the 16 nations that actually compete for the cup. The winner between the U.S. and West Germany will remain in the World Group in 1988; the loser will drop to zonal play and will not be eligible for the Cup until at least 1989.