First the Brazilian doubles team of Marcelo Melo and Bruno Soares delivered a surprising loss to doubles specialists Mike and Bob Bryan Saturday. Then, John Isner lost to Thomaz Bellucci in five sets on Sunday, 2-6, 6-4, 6-7 (7), 6-4, 6-3. That outcome sent the two sparring countries to a rare, deciding fifth match. The U.S. team hasn’t needed to win the fifth match to advance since 2000.
Sam Querrey battled through the tougher points and got breaks in the second, third and fourth sets. Querrey also served especially well, finishing with 26 aces. And in the end, Querrey beat Alves 4-6, 6-3, 6-4, 7-6 (3), giving the U.S. team a nail-biting 3-2 victory over Brazil.
The other teams advancing to the quarterfinals were: France (over Israel), Serbia (over Belgium), Argentina (over Germany), Canada (over Spain), Italy (over Croatia), Kazakhstan (over Austria) and the Czech Republic (over Switzerland).
In the next round, the U.S. hosts Serbia (and, of course, the world’s No. 1 ranked player — Novak Djokovic) in Boise, Idaho (from April 5-7). The other three matchups for the quarterfinals are France-Argentina, Canada-Italy and Czech Republic-Kazakhstan.
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