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Fish and Bryan certainly seized every opportunity to exploit Wawrinka’s errors. His serve was broken in the second when he twice double-faulted before Fish hit a rare crosscourt winner from the baseline. In the third, Wawrinka hit back-to-back wayward volleys to drop serve.

“We just had a couple of games where we struggled too much and couldn’t convert ourselves,” Federer had said in English. He has now lost three straight matches dating to his Australian Open semifinals defeat to Nadal two weeks ago.

As tension rose in the sold-out arena, Bryan upset the fans in the next game when he made Federer yelp with pain with a forehand volley that struck his leg.

On Federer’s serve, the U.S. held two set points and Bryan’s volley down the middle split the Swiss pair. Bryan’s double-fist pump celebration drew more whistles from Swiss fans.

Bryan became the villain again when he struck Wawrinka in the midriff with a volley in the opening game of the fourth set. Bryan’s rapid apologies each time failed to quell the fans’ frustration.

“I wasn’t trying to hit anybody. It happens in doubles,” Bryan said. “The fans were looking to get into the match and I’ve seen it a hundred times in Davis Cup.”

Courier praised the professionalism of Fish and Bryan, who extended his exceptional record in Davis Cup doubles to 20-2, and is unbeaten in 11 away matches.

“That is veteran doubles, and that is guys who know how to close things out in the clutch,” he said.

Bryan usually plays with his twin brother. Bob Bryan, however, was unavailable because of the birth of his daughter last week. The only other time Fish and Mike Bryan played together was a five-set victory over Feliciano Lopez and Fernando Verdasco in a 2008 semifinal in Madrid that Spain won 4-1.

Courier initially chose 19-year-old Ryan Harrison to play with Bryan at Thursday’s draw. But Davis Cup rules allow lineup changes up to one hour before a match.

“It’s great that the guy I have to tee it up with is the best doubles player ever,” said Fish, who won Friday in 4 hours, 26 minutes. “I’m just trying to do my part.”

Swiss captain Severin Luethi dismissed suggestions his team underestimated the Americans’ ability to adapt to a clay court, although one that played faster than expected at Fribourg’s altitude of about 2,000 feet.

Still, Isner showed the Swiss something they could not have expected with his career-best win in taking down Federer.

“You saw a new John Isner here,” said Courier, comparing the big-serving 26-year-old with one year ago, when he wasted a two-set lead in a singles match against Colombia. “He was very indecisive there and he was anything but against Roger.”

When it was over, Courier was asked about his courtside attire of suits and ties, his questioners wondering about the psychology behind his choices.

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