Even a tennis purist would certainly acknowledge that Saturday's Davis Cup action at Taco Bell Arena was superb—the best Boise has ever seen.
In the lone matched played Saturday, the fifth set was the longest fifth set in U.S. Davis Cup doubles history, and the second longest fifth set in the history of U.S. Davis Cup singles or doubles. The 4-hour, 23-minute match was the second longest—by one minute—U.S. Davis Cup doubles match in history.
But it still stung to watch the United States go down in five sets, with Serbia taking a 2-1 lead in the best-of-five tournament.
"This was my best performance in Davis Cup so far," said Serbia's Ilija Bozoljac, who teamed with Nenad Zimonjic to best the world's No. 1 doubles team, USA's Bob and Mike Bryan.
"For sure, it's the biggest win in the Davis Cup for me in the doubles," echoed Zimonjic. "I definitely think this was the point that we were looking for."
The Bryans were heavy favorites to take the all-important point, but they lost the first two sets, and in a five set, 4-hour-plus marathon, they fell to the Serbians, who pushed out 36 aces.
"I thought we prepared well," said Bob Bryan. "We played seven days on this court in the altitude. There are no excuses. We just came up against a serving machine. Thirty-six aces. It's tough to face."
Saturday was the first time that the Bryans lost the first two sets in Davis Cup competition in 24 matches.
Nearly 8,000 fans spent the better part of the match on their feet cheering the Bryans.
"I want to thank the crowd," said Bob Bryan. "They brought the energy all day long. That's as vocal as we've seen a Davis Cup crowd in a long time. They were cheering on every point."
Sunday's action will see two singles matches: Sam Querrey versus world No. 1 Novak Djokovic (at noon) and John Isner versus Viktor Troicki immediately following the first match.
The Serbians only need to clinch one of the remaining two matches to advance to the semifinals. The Americans will have to take both.
"Nothing changes," said USA Captain Jim Courier. "We know where we stand and what we have to do. The mission doesn't change: go out there and put 'W's' on the board."