Sam Querrey and John Isner both recorded straight-set singles victories on Friday to put the United States one win away from defeating Brazil in the opening round of the 2013 Davis Cup.
Querrey put the Americans on top of the best-of-five tie by rolling to a 6-3, 6-4, 6-4 decision over Thomaz Bellucci on an indoor hardcourt at Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena. The 6-foot-6 California native swatted 16 aces and was not broken at all by Bellucci in prevailing in his first-ever home Davis Cup match.
The 25-year-old is now 2-5 in Davis Cup singles play for his career.
Isner unleashed a dominating serve of his own in downing Thiago Alves by a 6-3, 7-6 (7-4), 6-3 count in Friday's second rubber. The towering 27-year-old showed no rust from missing the recent Australian Open due to a sore knee, as he pounded out 32 aces and 72 total winners in addition to claiming a second- set tiebreaker from his Brazilian foe.
The 6-foot-9 Isner, ranked No. 16 in the world at the moment, improved to 6-5 in Davis Cup singles bouts, the first 10 of which came on clay and on foreign soil.
The 32-time champion U.S., who fell to the powerful Spanish team in the semifinals of last year's event, will attempt to clinch a spot in April's quarterfinals when the mighty Bryan brothers take the court against the Brazilian duo of Marcelo Melo and Bruno Soares in Saturday's doubles rubber.
Bob and Mike Bryan, the world's No. 1 doubles team, are fresh off their men's- record 13th Grand Slam title at last week's Australian Open.
The USA-Brazil winner will meet the Serbia-Belgium victor in the quarterfinal round, with the Serbs currently holding a 2-0 advantage in that tie.