Jacksonville, FL – The United States' Sam Querrey defeated Thiago Alves in the fifth and deciding rubber in the best-of-five opening- round Davis Cup between Brazil and the host Americans.
After dropping both opening singles rubbers in Florida on Friday, the resilient Brazilians fought back with back-to-back wins of their own before Querrey sent the U.S. into the quarters.
Querrey dropped the first set against Alves before roaring back for the 4-6, 6-3, 6-4, 7-6 (7-3) win.
"I was just very happy with the way I battled through it," said Querrey. "Didn't strike the ball as well as on Friday, but fought through the tough points, made him play, got breaks in the second, third and fourth sets there. I was just happy to get through it."
Thomaz Bellucci came from behind to stun John Isner in five sets earlier on Sunday, with the Brazilian posting a 2-6, 6-4, 6-7 (7-9), 6-4, 6-3 win to level the tie at 2-2 at Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena.
The 3-hour, 29-minute bout featured 22 aces by the 6- foot-9 Isner, who had his serve broken three times and only broke the capable Bellucci on two occasions in the setback. Isner had 82 winners, but countered that with 81 unforced errors.
"I just couldn't quite win the big points," said Isner afterward. "It's almost like I wanted it too badly. I just felt like I was forcing it, wasn't going for my shots like I should. Confidence-wise, I'm not even close to where I want to be."
The 16th-ranked Isner has now lost three of his last four Davis Cup matches and is 1-3 when playing the third singles rubber for the U.S.
In the final set, Bellucci took advantage of a sixth break point in the eighth game on a backhand error from Isner. Bellucci went on to serve out the match at love when Isner committed another backhand error on the final point in the next game.
On Saturday, Brazil stayed alive when its quality doubles team of Marcelo Melo and Bruno Soares bested the vaunted American tandem of Bob and Mike Bryan in five sets. The Bryans were coming off their men's-record 13th Grand Slam title at the Australian Open last week.
Querrey and Isner each recorded straight-set singles victories on Friday to put the United States one win away from the quarterfinals.
The 32-time champion U.S. fell to the powerful Spanish team in the semifinals in last year's Davis Cup action.
The U.S. will meet Serbia in the quarters in April.