Jacksonville, FL (Sports Network) - Thomaz Bellucci defeated John Isner on Sunday to force a fifth and deciding rubber in the best-of-five opening-round Davis Cup tie between Brazil and the host United States.
After dropping both opening singles rubbers in Florida on Friday, the resilient Brazilians have fought back with back-to-back wins of their own.
Bellucci came from behind to stun Isner in five sets on Day 3, 2-6, 6-4, 6-7 (7-9), 6-4, 6-3, and level the tie at 2-2 at Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena. The 3-hour, 29-minute bout featured 22 aces by the 6-foot-9 Isner, who had his serve broken three times and only broke the capable Bellucci on two occasions in the setback.
Sunday's deciding match will pit American Sam Querrey against Brazil's Thiago Alves.
On Saturday, Brazil stayed alive when its quality doubles team of Marcelo Melo and Bruno Soares bested the vaunted American tandem of Bob and Mike Bryan in five sets. The Bryans were coming off their men's-record 13th Grand Slam title at the Australian Open last week.
Querrey and Isner each recorded straight-set singles victories on Friday to put the United States one win away from the quarterfinals.
The 32-time champion U.S. fell to the powerful Spanish team in the semifinals in last year's Davis Cup action.
The USA-Brazil winner will meet Serbia in the quarters in April.