Sam Querrey proved his mettle in live Davis Cup singles matches, clinching the First Round tie for the U.S. over Brazil, 3-2, in a fifth and decisive rubber on Sunday in Jacksonville, Fla. Querrey, ranked 20th in the world, defeated Thiago Alves, 4-6, 6-3, 6-4, 7-6(3), becoming the first American to clinch a Davis Cup tie in a fifth and decisive rubber since 2000, when Pete Sampras defeated Slava Dosedel to defeat the Czech Republic in a World Group Quarterfinal in Los Angeles. The victory came in Querrey’s second live Davis Cup singles rubber. In his first, on Friday, Querrey defeated Brazil’s Thomaz Bellucci in straight sets.
Querrey showed his resolve after John Isner, ranked No. 16 in the world, fell to the 36th-ranked Bellucci, 2-6, 6-4, 6-7(7), 6-4, 6-3, in Sunday’s first reverse singles match. That evened the tie at 2-2, before Querrey served up 26 aces to defeat Alves in their first-ever meeting.
Querrey’s victory improved the U.S. Davis Cup Team’s record in fifth and decisive rubbers to 19-16 since the competition began in 1900. The U.S. is 156-3 in Davis Cup ties after taking a 2-0 lead, its last such loss coming in the 1994 semifinals against Sweden. Querrey improved his Davis Cup record to 3-5, 2-4 in live rubbers.
This was the first U.S. Davis Cup Team tie to go to a fifth and decisive rubber in Captain Jim Courier’s six ties as captain since 2011.
"It's not just me out there, it's my whole team, captain here, it's the fans," said Querrey. "You feel like you're playing for your country, not just yourself."
The U.S. will next host world number one Novak Djokovic and Serbia in the 2013 Davis Cup by BNP Paribas Quarterfinals, April 5-7 in Boise, Idaho at the Taco Bell Arena on the campus of Boise State University. The U.S. Davis Cup Team has played against the world number one three times, holding a 1-1 record. The loss came in 2008 to Spain, when then-number one-ranked Rafael Nadal defeated Sam Querrey in his Davis Cup debut.
Also advancing Sunday to the quarterfinals were: Canada (over Spain), Italy (over Croatia), Kazakhstan (over Austria) and the Czech Republic (over Switzerland). Clinching spots on Saturday were: France (over Israel), Serbia (over Belgium) and Argentina (over Germany).
The U.S. will host Serbia in the next round in Boise, Idaho, from April 5-7. The other three matchups for the quarterfinals are France-Argentina, Canada-Italy and Czech Republic-Kazakhstan.
Canada is in the Davis Cup quarterfinals for the first time. It defeated a five-time champion Spanish team that was missing Rafael Nadal, David Ferrer and Nicolas Almagro because of injuries and fatigue.