JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Sam Querrey beat Thiago Alves 4-6, 6-3, 6-4, 7-6 (3) on Sunday to give the United States a dramatic 3-2 victory over Brazil and a spot in the Davis Cup quarterfinals.
The U.S. will host Serbia in the next round in Boise, Idaho, from April 5-7.
Querrey stepped up after teammate John Isner lost 2-6, 6-4, 6-7 (7), 6-4, 6-3 to Thomaz Bellucci earlier Sunday, forcing a deciding fifth match. It was the first time since 2000 that a U.S. team needed to win the fifth match to advance.
The 25-year-old Querrey started fast, breaking Alves in the second game of the match. But Alves, ranked No. 141, responded with breaks of his own in the third and ninth games to take the opening set.
Querrey responded with a consistent array of cross-court winners to control play the rest of the way.
While Isner, the highest-ranked singles player in the tie at No. 16, bemoaned his play, Querrey expressed satisfaction with a straight-set win over Bellucci on Friday and the four-setter against Alves on Sunday.
“I was very happy with the way I battled through (the match),” Querrey said. “I fought through the tough points and got breaks in the second, third and fourth sets. I was just happy to get through it.”
Querrey was especially effective with his serve. He finished with 26 aces, compared to one for Alves, often clocking 120 mph or faster. When Alves was able to return a serve, it often was with little pace, enabling Querrey to eventually hit winners.
“I fight for all the match, all the match,” the 30-year-old Alves said. “My ranking is 145, something like this. I play two guys under 20 in the world. I think I play great tennis here.”
U.S. team captain Jim Courier had special praise for the 20th-ranked Querrey.
“Sam faced some adversity at the end and played a great tiebreaker to get past not closing it out on serve,” Courier said. “Those are learning moments for a player, things you can draw on later on in your career. Today is a good day for Sam and our team in a lot of ways.”