Marcelo Melo and Bruno Soares bested the vaunted tandem of Bob and Mike Bryan on Saturday afternoon, giving the Brazilians their first win over the USA in the opening round of the 2013 Davis Cup.
The Bryans -- the world's No. 1 doubles team who were coming off their men's- record 13th Grand Slam title at last week's Australian Open -- could have sent the Americans into the quarterfinals, but instead wound up on the wrong end of a 6-7 (6-8), 7-6 (9-7), 4-6, 6-3, 3-6 score in a match which lasted nearly 3 1/2 hours.
The Brazilians saved a trio of set points in the first tiebreaker before winning it and the Americans turned the tables in the second-set tiebreaker. The Bryans actually saved four set points, including a video reversal on a challenged line call.
Things got a bit testy during the break between the second and third sets, as a member of the Brazilian team appeared to make contact with one of the Bryans as they walked past the bench. However, both sides saved their passion for the court.
Melo and Soares won despite committing a combined 75 unforced errors and only recording three aces to 11 for the Bryans, who came into the meeting 22-2 all- time in this tournament.
Sam Querrey and John Isner both recorded straight-set singles victories on Friday to put the United States one win away from advancing.
The 32-time champion U.S., which fell to the powerful Spanish team in the semifinals of last year's event, will get another chance to clinch a spot in April's quarterfinals when Isner takes on Thomaz Bellucci and Querrey faces Thiago Alves in singles rubbers on Sunday.
The USA-Brazil winner will meet Serbia in the next round.