Byline: Jeff Elliott
Americans John Isner and Sam Querrey staked the United States to a commanding 2-0 lead over Brazil in first-round action of the Davis Cup on Friday at Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena.
Both players won their singles match in straight sets, and both used a commanding serve to control play. Querrey set the tone with a 6-3, 6-4, 6-4 win over Thomaz Bellucci that took just over an hour-and-a-half to complete.
Isner needed three minutes shy of two hours, winning 6-3, 7-6 (4), 6-3 over Thiago Alves.
That left the United States in position to possibly wrap up the first-round match Saturday when Mike and Bob Bryan put their world No. 1 doubles ranking on the line against the Brazilian duo of Marcelo Melo and Bruno Soares. A win by the Bryans would leave Sunday's singles match of Isner versus Bellucci meaningless. Querrey and Alves will not play their singles match if the U.S. has clinched the team win.
"We're certainly pleased to be in this position," U.S. team captain Jim Courier said. "We have a lot of confidence in Bob and Mike. It will take a really special effort to beat them. It's trite. It's true. We need three more sets, so we're going to focus on that some way, somehow."
Querrey, playing in the second position for the U.S. team, secured one service break in each set against Bellucci. That's all it took as the Brazilian left-hander only managed to score 12 points against Querrey's serve, never once reaching a break point.
Querrey won 45 of 47 first-serve points that were in play. He had 15 aces and consistently pinned his opponent deep along the baseline, lacing winners down the lines or rushing the net for easy put-aways.
"I was serving well, and that just makes things so much easier," said Querrey, ranked No. 20 in the world. "I could play a little freer on his service game. I was a little nervous at the beginning. Once I got that first break, I felt like I got my feet settled, and I was a on a roll."
The break came in the eighth game of the first set. Querrey built a 15-40 lead and took a 5-3 lead in games when Bellucci produced one of his four double faults in the match. …