Sam Querrey exudes calm - almost nonchalance - on the tennis court.
So when his U.S. Davis Cup teammate, John Isner, lost in the opening match of the quarterfinal tie against Serbia on Friday at Taco Bell Arena, Querrey didn't flinch.
Nor did he throw a racket or shout in anger when he fell behind two sets to one in his own match - one the Americans absolutely had to win to keep their title hopes alive.
He just kept firing rocket serves and ripping go-for-broke forehands - powering his way past Viktor Troicki 7-6 (1), 3-6, 4-6, 6-1, 6-4 in a match that lasted 3 hours, 19 minutes.
"Of course, when you lose the first match, the pressure does shift onto Sam's shoulders," U.S. captain Jim Courier said, "but he handled it beautifully. He was relaxed in the locker room, confident on the court, and he kept his head in there the whole way through. We're real proud of him as a team, and he should be real proud of himself for that effort."
Querrey's win evened the best-of-five tie at 1-1. World No. 1 doubles team Bob Bryan and Mike Bryan take the court Saturday - and they're 10-1 when playing for the lead.
"Things are tough - if we're down 2-0, it's a long way home for any team, and particularly (against) a team as deep as Serbia," Courier said. " One-one when you have the Bryans feels like you almost have a little bit of a lead."
Querrey, who will face No. 1 Novak Djokovic in a guaranteed-to-matter singles match Sunday, squandered one lead and erased another in Friday's match.
He won the first set and broke Troicki's serve in the first game of the second set. But Troicki immediately broke Querrey to capture the momentum. Querrey turned erratic, committing 32 unforced errors combined in the second and third sets.
"I was making some good shots," Troicki said. "I think I had a high level of tennis in those second and third sets. It's a pity I couldn't continue throughout the whole match to play like that."
Querrey dominated the fourth set, during which he placed 21 of his 22 first serves in play, and drew the crowd (paid attendance: 8,115) into the action.
He received a standing ovation when he broke Troicki in a three-deuce game for a 2-0 lead in the fourth set. He cruised through the rest of that set.
"I'm a pretty mellow player generally, and the crowd was awesome today," said Querrey, who delivered a few emotional fist pumps late in the match. "Winning that fourth set, they're on their feet and cheering. Then that fifth set, every game on my serve, on Troicki's serve, when it was a 30-all or a deuce point, they were loud and vocal, and it helped a lot."
Troicki said he was drained from the first three sets and felt slow in the fourth. He received treatment for his legs before the fifth and looked rejuvenated.
But when he had a chance to put Querrey in a serious bind, he failed. Querrey, down 2-1, missed seven straight first serves and faced two break points at 15-40. He fought them off with a pair of second serves and won another four-deuce game.
Crisis avoided, Querrey dominated the rest of the set - making Troicki grind to hold serve twice before breaking him for a 5-4 lead and cruising through his own service games.
Querrey, who previously was 1-5 in five-setters, served out the match by winning four straight points.
"I had some chances early in the fifth," Troicki said. "I had some break points. Didn't use them. He used his chances when he had a break point in a crucial moment for me."
A crucial moment for all involved.
The Serbians were one set from a commanding lead.
Now they're probably the underdogs.
"It feels great to help the team out, to tie it up," Querrey said. " I think the rest of the team can feed off it. I think Bob and Mike will be ready to go tomorrow. We're right back in it."
Chadd Cripe: 377-6398, Twitter: @IDS_BroncoBeat