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PLAYING AROUND

After seizing a 2-0 lead on Day 1 at the Davis Cup, a U.S. victory seemed assured with prolific doubles pair Bob and Mike Bryan taking the court for an afternoon match on Feb. 2.

The Bryans, winners of a record 13 Grand Slam doubles titles, lost for only the third time in 23 Davis Cup matches. Brazilians Marcelo Melo and Bruno Soares staved off a late rally by the Bryans to win 7-6 (6), 6-7 (7), 6-4, 3-6, 6-3 at Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena.

"We're obviously disappointed," Bob Bryan said. "We would have loved to get the point for the U.S. I feel like we're capable of playing at a higher level. We'll get back to work and hopefully the guys will get it done on Sunday [Feb. 3], and we'll have another opportunity to make this right [in a Davis Cup semifinal later this year]."

The Bryans squandered three set points in the first-set tiebreaker, then rallied after a challenge reversal gave them new life in the second set.

There was a verbal exchange at the end of the second set between the doubles pairs.

"Yeah, Davis Cup is an emotional atmosphere. They got passionate after they thought they won the set [before the challenge]. I got passionate to them," Bob Bryan said. "There were some words said. You know, no hard feelings, no grudges. It's Davis Cup. This sort of stuff happens all the time."

Soares joked that he wasn't involved: "Marcelo could explain better. ... He's bigger and stronger than me, so I just ran away."

"Bob never did this before," Melo said. "I have him as a friend. In that moment, I [was] in shock. ... At the same time, I want to see the video again to see if he did it to me or to the crowd. If the guy do to the crowd, [it's] OK. It's not OK, but it's not words to say to another player."

Melo and Soares responded by breaking Mike Bryan twice — in the third and fifth sets. They improved to 3-1 all-time against the Bryans, considered by many to be the best men's doubles pair in tennis history.

In the match, the Bryans …   More

PLAYING AROUND

After claiming his first Davis Cup victory on U.S. soil Feb. 1, John Isner told tennis fans that he and Sam Querrey are happy to turn a 2-0 lead over to the Bryan brothers for their doubles match Saturday at Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena.

Isner finished off Thiago Alves with the Americans' second straight-set victory in a row on Day 1, beating the Brazilian 6-3, 7-6 (4), 6-3. He served 32 aces, the second most he's served in 11 Davis Cup matches.

"It was certainly choppy out there at times," Isner said. "I littered up the stat sheet for sure. I know I had a lot of aces. I had a lot of souvenirs into the crowd as well on my forehand."

Querrey beat Thomaz Bellucci 6-3, 6-4, 6-4 in the first match to give the U.S. a 1-0 lead. Querrey's victory was also his first in Davis Cup play on U.S. soil.

Querrey only lost 12 service points the entire match, and the Americans didn't face a break point on the day until the second set of Isner's match. The 6-foot-9 Tampa resident saved the break point, then served it out to make it 3-3 in the second set.

Bob and Mike Bryan will face Marcelo Melo and Bruce Soares on Feb. 2. The Bryan brothers won the Australian Open last week for their record 13th Grand Slam title.

The official attendance for the Feb. 1 matches was 3,414.   More

PLAYING AROUND

Sam Querrey beat Thomaz Bellucci 6-3, 6-4, 6-4 in the first match to give the U.S. a 1-0 lead over Brazil in the first round of the Davis Cup on Friday at Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena.

About 3,000 fans attended the afternoon match, but Querrey expects a major draw for Saturday's doubles match.

"This could be your one chance to see the greatest doubles team of all time," Querrey said.

Bob and Mike Bryan will face Marcelo Melo and Bruce Soares on Saturday. The Bryan brothers are ranked Nos. 1 and 2 in doubles and are the most prolific doubles team in men's tennis history, having won the Australian Open last week for their record 13th Grand Slam title.   More

PLAYING AROUND

Filmmaker Mahmoud Shoulizadeh finished filming "The Prisoner" in Camden County this week, according to the Coastal Georgia Film Alliance.

In the film, a man on death row makes a last request of a visitor who is a former prison mate.

The shoot took only a few days with the assistance of the Camden County Sheriff's Department and the cities of St. Marys and Woodbine, the film alliance chair, Doug Vaught, said in a statement.

"The Prisoner" is the second film shot in Coastal Georgia in the past few months. "Identify Thief," starring Melissa McCarthy and Jason Bateman, is scheduled for release in February. The comedy includes landscapes of St. Marys and Woodbine.

  More

PLAYING AROUND

The fifth anniversary season of the Riverside Arts Market is fast approaching, and the deadline for the March 2 opening day is Jan. 31. New applicants must pay a $19 fee and returning vendors must pay $11.

RAM, a Folio Weekly Best of Jax winner, promises a wide array of art, produce, food and entertainment 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. every Saturday from March to December under the canopy of the Fuller Warner Bridge.

Interested artists, farmers and vendors should go to riversideartsmarket.com to fill out the application by Jan. 31. Approval and denial notifications will be sent out during the week of Feb. 4. A mandatory orientation for vendors who have not participated in RAM since June 30, 2012, is scheduled for Feb. 23.

Applications received after the Jan. 31 deadline will be processed as they are received, according to RAM.   More

 
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