World No. 1 Novak Djokovic beat big-serving John Isner in straight sets to give Serbia a 1-0 lead over the United States in their Davis Cup World Group quarter-final on Friday.
Djokovic defeated Isner 7-6 (7/5), 6-2, 7-5, recovering from an early break in the opening set and taking control from there.
The Serbian player saved the only break point he faced in the third set -- in the second game -- and broke Isner at love for a 6-5 advantage.
He served out the match with a love game, wrapping it up in two hours with a backhand winner that sent him dancing over to celebrate with his teammates.
Isner had made a quick start, breaking Djokovic for a 2-1 lead in the first set and holding for 3-1. But Djokovic, finding his rhythm on the indoor hard court in the Taco Bell Arena in a town that sits about 800 meters (2,600 feet) in altitude, broke back to level the set at 3-3.
Djokovic delivered a second-serve ace to take a 4-1 lead in the tiebreaker and claimed the first set on his third set point when Isner knocked a backhand long.
He applied the pressure early in the second set, breaking Isner in the third game and widening the gap with another break in the seventh.
American Sam Querrey was trying to get the hosts back on terms when he took on Viktor Troicki in the second singles match in the best-of-five tie.
Serbian captain Bogdan Obradovic called on Troicki for singles duty after world No. 10 Janko Tipsarevic opted out of the tie.
The winner will take on the victor of the quarter-final tie between Canada and Italy in Vancouver.
Serbia's run to the 2010 Davis Cup title included a victory in their only other meeting with the United States, who have lifted the trophy 32 times.
US captain Jim Courier has a formidable weapon at his disposal for Saturday's doubles, when he'll send Bob and Mike Bryan against Nenad Zimonjic and Ilija Bozoljac.