Brazil upsets Bryan brothers, cuts US lead to 2-1

Brazil upsets Bryan brothers, cuts US lead to 2-1

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) Brazil's doubles team of Marcelo Melo and Bruno Soares upset the top-ranked Mike and Bob Bryan 7-6 (6), 6-7 (7), 6-4, 3-6, 6-3 and kept the United States from clinching the first-round Davis Cup match.

The Bryan brothers have been the most successful doubles duo in Davis Cup history, with a record 20 wins and only two losses when playing together. But Melo and Soares beat the U.S. duo for the third time in four meetings overall.

``(The Brazilian team) came out with something to prove and played an extremely high level of doubles and made some great gets,'' U.S. team captain Jim Courier said. ``I'm sure (our) guys can play at a higher level. I'm not sure that those guys can. To their credit, they played great today and they deserved to win.''

The tone of the match may have been established in the first set when the Bryan brothers held a 5-1 lead in the tiebreaker. They lost the next couple points but won the next point for a 6-3 lead and a triple-set advantage.

But they failed to convert on any of the next three chances as the Brazilians gained momentum and won five consecutive points for the set win.

With neither side able to break the other's serve, the second set also went to a tiebreaker. Brazil looked as if it would jump to a 2-0 set lead when it had three set-point opportunities at 6-3.

But this time the Brazilians couldn't convert on any of their chances and when Melo and Soares hit consecutive shots into the net with a 7-7 score, the U.S. team evened the match at one set.

Brazil rebounded and went on to win the third and fifth sets to record a win that Soares called, ``this ranks number one for sure. It's very special.''

The Bryans entered the match with momentum, having captured their 13th Grand Slam title two weeks earlier by winning the Australian Open.

``There's no doubt on paper, they're a better team than us,'' Soares said. ``But we got a good record against them.

``To beat these guys you have to be 110 percent. Today we showed we were 110 percent, most important for five sets.''

The Bryans rallied in the fourth set. They broke Melo's serve in the sixth game with Bob Bryan's backhand volley winner giving them a 4-2 lead. They went on to hold their serve to close out the set at 6-3.

The Bryans lost a chance to gain a break, but couldn't convert two break points in the third game. In the eighth game with Brazil holding a 4-3 lead, things fell apart for the two Americans who lost Mike Bryan's serve at love.

In the ninth game with the score at 30-30, both Bryans hit shots that sailed long or wide, leaving the Brazilian team and its small but raucous crowd to erupt in celebration.

``Hats off to the Brazilians,'' Bob Bryan said. ``I thought they served well pretty much of the four hours. We're obviously disappointed. I feel we're capable of playing at a higher level.''

Attention turns to Sunday's two singles matches. John Isner will meet Thomaz Bellucci in the opener with Sam Querrey taking on Thiago Alves if the match is tied 2-2. Isner and Querrey were both straight-set winners in their Friday matches.

``(Isner and Querrey) are well-prepared. They come in with three sets under their belt from yesterday which is good for their confidence, not damaging to their physical fitness,'' Courier said.

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Game 73 Capitals vs. Stars Date, Time, How to Watch, Game Thread


Game 73 Capitals vs. Stars Date, Time, How to Watch, Game Thread

What: Washington Capitals vs. Dallas Stars

Where: Capital One Arena, Washington, D.C.

When: 7:00 p.m. ET

How to Watch: Capitals-Stars will be broadcast on NBC Sports Washington (Channel Finder)

Live Stream: You can watch the Capitals-Stars game on NBC Sports Washington's live stream page.


The Capitals (41-24-7) take on the Stars (38-27-8) Tuesday, March 20 at 7:00 p.m. ET at Capital One Arena.


The Capitals-Stars game will be broadcast on NBC Sports Washington. Coverage kicks off with Capitals FaceOff at 6:00 p.m. followed by Caps GameTime at 6:30 p.m. Stay with NBC Sports Washington for Caps Extra following the game, Caps Overtime at 10:00 p.m. and Caps in 30 at 11:00 p.m. for all your postgame coverage. (NBC Sports Washington channel Finder)

6:00 p.m. — Caps FaceOff
6:30 p.m. — Caps GameTime
7:00 p.m. — Capitals vs. Stars
9:30 p.m. — Caps Extra
10:00 p.m. — Caps Overtime
11:00 p.m. — Caps in 30


Here are the projected lines for the Caps-Islanders game:

Alex Ovechkin -  Nicklas Backstrom - Tom Wilson
Andre Burakovsky - Lars Eller - T.J. Oshie
Jakub Vrana - Travis Boyd - Brett Connolly
Chandler Stephenson - Jay Beagle - Devante Smith-Pelly

Christian Djoos - John Carlson
Dmitry Orlov - Matt Niskanen
Michal Kempny - Jakub Jerabek

Braden Holtby starts with Philipp Grubauer as backup

Scratches: Evgeny Kuznetsov (upper body injury), Alex Chiasson, Brooks Orpik (lower body injury)


The Capitals-Flyers game, as well as Caps GameTime and Caps Extra, is available to stream live here through NBC Sports Washington's live stream page and is available to authenticated NBC Sports Washington subscribers on desktops, tablets, mobile devices and connected TVs anywhere in the United States.


Use the comment section below to discuss the game action with other Capitals fans. 

For all the latest Caps coverage, follow Capitals Insider Tarik El-Bashir, Capitals correspondent JJ Regan and the NBC Sports Capitals account on Twitter. Be sure check out our Capitals page and NBC Sports Washington's Facebook page.

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Need to Know: Looking at the Redskins' defensive depth chart after early phase of free agency

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Need to Know: Looking at the Redskins' defensive depth chart after early phase of free agency

Here is what you need to know on this Tuesday, March 20, 37 days before the NFL draft.  

Looking at the 2018 depth chart—defense

The Redskins are likely to make a few more free agent acquisitions and there is the draft, but the depth chart is beginning to settle in. Let’s take a look at where the defensive side of the ball stands now. The offense was covered yesterday.

Defensive line: Jonathan Allen, Matt Ioannidis, Stacy McGee
Backups: Terrell McClain, Anthony Lanier, Ziggy Hood

I wrote this on Monday afternoon wondering if I would have to edit it to add Jonathan Hankins but that has not happened yet. I have to think that they will use a top draft pick on a D-lineman if they don’t land one in free agency. That could create some competition between Hood and McClain for the last roster spot.

Linebackers: OLBs Preston Smith, Ryan Kerrigan; ILBs Mason Foster, Zach Brown
Backups: Ryan Anderson, Zach Vigil, Josh Harvey-Clemons, Martrell Spaight

Again, I thought I might have to edit this because of the return of Junior Galette or the addition of Pernell McPhee but as it is, the Redskins are looking for an additional reserve edge rusher to go with Anderson. There might only be room for two backup inside linebackers between Vigil, Harvey-Clemons, and Spaight.

Defensive backs: CBs Quinton Dunbar, Josh Norman; FS Montae Nicholson, SS D.J. Swearinger
Backups: Orlando Scandrick, Fabian Moreau, Josh Holsey, Deshazor Everett

I debated including Su’a Cravens here because he is on the roster, but I think that the odds that he will be on the 53-man roster in September are slim. If he doesn’t return they will need some help at safety. You can count on Scandrick playing in the slot. They seem to like both Dunbar and Moreau better on the outside and Scandrick can give Holsey a chance to develop inside.

Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page and follow him on Twitter @TandlerNBCS.

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Days until:

—Offseason workouts begin (4/16) 28
—Training camp starts (approx. 7/26) 130
—2018 NFL season starts (9/9) 174

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