Clutch Querrey Keeps ‘Em In

Davis Cup Day-1: Novak Djokovic wins easily in three sets over John Isner
Davis Cup Day-1: Novak Djokovic wins easily in three sets over John Isner

Davis Cup Boise – Day One.

Up a break in the first set, Team USA was hopeful for a quick Sam Querrey win over Viktor Troicki in yesterday’s second Quarterfinal rubber. Wishful thinking after Isner’s lumbering straight-sets loss to Novak Djokovic, punctuated by John’s 37 unforced errors. (Final: Djokovic over Isner 7-6, 6-2, 7-5)

But, like in the previous match, the Serb broke-back to take it to a first set tie-break. Unlike Isner, Sam wasted no time and painted the service-line with punishing first serves, taking the breaker (7-1).

Then it got ugly.

Sam spent the next two sets struggling with serve and spraying forehands long and wide. Troicki won them both (6-3, 6-4) and Team USA’s chances in Boise began to look bleak. After the third set, I tweeted: “So much for the whole altitude ‘advantage.’ Querrey down 1-2 to Troicki. A 5-set win from Sam is critical for Team USA.”

Clutch Querrey answered.

In the fourth set, the booming first serve was back. He settled into points, showing more patience during long rallies, moving Troicki around the court. Suddenly Viktor began to cramp and Sam pounced, only surrendering a single game the entire set.

So it all came down to the 5th. One huge set for Team USA. Another crucial Davis Cup moment for Sam Querrey. With a win, the Quarterfinal Tie would be all-even going into Saturday’s Doubles. With a loss, Serbia would need just one more match-win to advance to the Semi’s.

With nearly an even mix of U.S. and Serbian fans in Boise State’s Taco Bell Arena, the atmosphere exploded with chants and cheering on every dead ball. At 4-all, Clutch Querrey arrived, breaking Troicki to go up 5-4, and a chance to serve for the set. Four serves later, Sam delivered the win, turning the best-of-5 weekend into a best-of-three.

In Jacksonville, during first round play, it was Querrey’s two wins over the Brazilians that delivered Team USA to the Quarterfinal – after unexpected losses from the Bryan Brothers and John Isner. There, it all came down to the final match where Sam won a tough battle over Thiago Alves in four sets.

TODAY: As usual, Team USA is counting a win from the most successful doubles pairing in the history of the game, Bob and Mike Bryan. They are scheduled to play Ilija Bozoljac and decorated doubles veteran Nenad Zimonjic, but rumor has been swirling that Djokovic may be plugged-in at the last minute. (Note: Nole’s career doubles record is 31-46)

Davis Cup Quarterfinal play continues today starting at 12:30 MT.