Sports

Leonardo Mayer defeats Thomaz Bellucci to pull Argentina level with Brazil on clay

  • Argentina's Leonardo Mayer returns the ball to Brazil's Thomaz Bellucci during a Davis Cup singles tennis match  in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Friday, March 6, 2015. (AP Photo/Natacha Pisarenko)

    Argentina's Leonardo Mayer returns the ball to Brazil's Thomaz Bellucci during a Davis Cup singles tennis match in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Friday, March 6, 2015. (AP Photo/Natacha Pisarenko)  (The Associated Press)

  • Joao Souza, of Brazil,  returns the ball against Argentina's Carlos Berlocq  during a Davis Cup singles tennis match in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Friday, March 6, 2015.(AP Photo/Natacha Pisarenko)

    Joao Souza, of Brazil, returns the ball against Argentina's Carlos Berlocq during a Davis Cup singles tennis match in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Friday, March 6, 2015.(AP Photo/Natacha Pisarenko)  (The Associated Press)

  • Argentina's Leonardo Mayer eyes the ball during a Davis Cup singles tennis match against Brazil's Thomaz Bellucci in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Friday, March 6, 2015. (AP Photo/Natacha Pisarenko)

    Argentina's Leonardo Mayer eyes the ball during a Davis Cup singles tennis match against Brazil's Thomaz Bellucci in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Friday, March 6, 2015. (AP Photo/Natacha Pisarenko)  (The Associated Press)

Leonardo Mayer pulled Argentina level with Brazil 1-1 on Friday in their first-round Davis Cup tie, defeating Brazil's Thomaz Bellucci 6-4, 6-3, 1-6, 6-3 on clay in the Argentine capital.

Mayer was in control most of the way in a match that lasted 2 hours, 39 minutes.

Brazil took a 1-0 lead after the first singles when Joao Souza defeated Carlos Berlocq 6-4, 3-6, 5-7, 6-3, 6-2 in a match that finished in five hours.

Souza failed to convert two set points in the third set, but rallied to win the last two sets.

The edge could come in Saturday doubles with the Argentine pair Federico Delbonis and Diego Schwartzman slightly favored against Marcelo Melo and Bruno Soares.

In reverse singles on Sunday, Mayer is to face Souza and Berlocq plays Bellucci.

Neither of the countries, which are fierce rivals in football, has won the Davis Cup. Argentina has been runner-up four times: 1981, 2006, 2008 and 2011. Brazil has never reached a final.