U.S. trails Serbia 2-1 in Davis Cup play

BOISE, Idaho — The United States trails Serbia 2-1 in a Davis Cup quarterfinal after the top-ranked doubles team of Bob and Mike Bryan lost to Serbia’s Nenad Zimonjic and Ilija Bozoljac 7-6 (5), 7-6 (1), 5-7, 4-6, 15-13 on Saturday.

Fans were on the edge of their seats throughout the 4 hour, 23 minute match and kept the place alive with their cheering.

The Serbians had their share of fans who were waving Serbian flags and urging their team.

The Bryans, who have a 20-4 Davis Cup doubles record together, have only played two five-set matches in Davis Cup competition and both took place this year. They were upset by Marcelo Melo and Bruno Soares of Brazil in the Davis Cup first round in February and by the Serbians in Boise.

In other Davis Cup quarterfinals, Italy and Canada are tied 1-1, France and Argentina are also tied 1-1 and the Czech Republic has a 2-1 lead over Kazakhstan.

Zimonjic served three aces in the final game of the match against the U.S. with an ace on the second match point of that 28th game. It was a clutch final moment performance by a multiple Grand Slam doubles champion, who was key in Serbia’s only Davis Cup victory in 2010.

Bozoljac ranks 335th in singles. Zimonjic and Bozoljac have a 4-2 Davis Cup doubles record together.

Zimonjic was the star of the opening two sets. But in the final set, the steadying force was the inexperienced Bozoljac, who has a serve that kept the Bryans off-balance.

In the final set, the Serbians had two break points on Bob Bryan’s serve in the ninth game, but the Americans were able to rally to save that service game.

The Serbians again had two break points, this time on Mike Bryan’s serve in the 27th game, and converted on a Mike Bryan error on the second break opportunity.

In the final game, the Bryans had their only two opportunities to break the Serbians’ serve in the final set, but Zimonjic saved them with a service winner and an ace.

Both teams won 217 points in the match, but most of the overall statistics favored the Serbians.

The Serbians had 125 winners and 36 aces to 80 winners and only 12 aces for the Bryans. The Bryans were forced into 81 errors but only pushed the Serbians to 47 errors. The Americans had 56 unforced errors to 45 for the Serbians.

Sunday’s reverse singles matches will start with world No. 1 Novak Djokovic playing 20th-ranked Sam Querrey. The final match will be 44th-ranked Viktor Troicki of Serbia against 23rd-ranked John Isner.

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