March 29, 2017

Nominations Announced for Davis Cup World Group Quarterfinals and Zone Group Ties

(March 28, 2017) The ITF has announced the official team nominations for the Davis Cup by BNP Paribas World Group quarterfinals and Zone Group ties taking place on 7-9 April. A total of 27 ties and two zone group events will be held next week.

 

The draws for all ties will be held on Thursday 6 April.

 

The eight winners of the Zone Group I second round ties will qualify for the 2017 World Group play-offs, alongside the eight World Group first round losers. The Draw for the World Group play-offs will be held at the ITF offices on Tuesday 11 April at 10:00 local time (09:00 GMT).

 

WORLD GROUP QUARTERFINALS

 

BELGIUM v ITALY

Venue: Spiroudome de Charleroi, Charleroi, BEL (hard – indoor)

 

Belgium

David Goffin

Steve Darcis

Ruben Bemelmans

Joris de Loore

Captain: Johan van Herck

 

Italy

Paolo Lorenzi

Fabio Fognini

Andreas Seppi

Simone Bolelli

Captain: Corrado Barazzutti

 

AUSTRALIA v USA

Venue: Pat Rafter Arena, Brisbane, AUS (hard – outdoor)

 

Australia

Nick Kyrgios

Jordan Thompson

Sam Groth

John Peers

Captain: Lleyton Hewitt

 

USA

Jack Sock

John Isner

Sam Querrey

Steve Johnson

Captain: Jim Courier

 

FRANCE v GREAT BRITAIN

Venue: Kindarena, Rouen, FRA (clay – indoor)

 

France

Lucas Pouille

Gilles Simon

Nicolas Mahut

Pierre-Hugues Herbert

Captain: Yannick Noah

 

Great Britain

Daniel Evans

Kyle Edmund

Jamie Murray

Dominic Inglot

Captain: Leon Smith

 

SERBIA v SPAIN

Venue: Aleksandar Nikolic Arena, Belgrade, SRB (hard – indoor)

 

Serbia

Novak Djokovic

Viktor Troicki

Dusan Lajovic

Playing Captain: Nenad Zimonjic

 

Spain

Pablo Carreno Busta

Albert Ramos-Vinolas

Marcel Granollers

Marc Lopez

Captain: Conchita Martinez

 

EUROPE/AFRICA ZONE GROUP I SECOND ROUND

 

BOSNIA/HERZEGOVINA v NETHERLANDS
Venue: Arena Zenica, Zenica, BIH (hard – indoor)

 

Bosnia/Herzegovina

Damir Dzumhur

Mirza Basic

Nerman Fatic

Playing Captain: Tomislav Brkic

 

Netherlands

Robin Haase

Tallon Griekspoor

Thiemo de Bakker

Jean-Julien Rojer

Captain: Paul Haarhuis

 

BELARUS v AUSTRIA

Venue: Republic Olympic Training Center, Minsk, BLR (hard – indoor)

 

Belarus

Ilya Ivashka

Egor Gerasimov

Yaraslav Shyla

Max Mirnyi

Captain: Vladimir Voltchkov

 

Austria

Gerald Melzer

Jurgen Melzer

Alexander Peya

Julian Knowle

Captain: Stefan Koubek

 

PORTUGAL v UKRAINE

Venue: Club Internacional de Foot-Ball, Lisbon, POR (clay – indoor)

 

Portugal

Joao Sousa

Gastao Elias

Pedro Sousa

Joao Domingues

Captain: Nuno Marques

 

Ukraine

Artem Smirnov

Denys Molchanov

Nikita Mashtakov

Illia Biloborodko

Captain: Andrei Medvedev

 

ASIA/OCEANIA ZONE GROUP I SECOND ROUND

 

KAZAKHSTAN v CHINA, P.R.

Venue: National Tennis Centre, Astana, KAZ (clay – indoor)

 

Kazakhstan

Mikhail Kukushkin
Aleksandr Nedovyesov
Dmitriy Popko
Andrey Golubev

Captain: Dias Doskarayev

 

China, P.R.

Wu Di

Zhang Ze

Bai Yan

Gong Mao-Xin

Captain: Jiang Wei

 

INDIA v UZBEKISTAN

Venue: KSLTA Tennis Stadium, Bangalore, IND (hard – outdoor)

 

India

Ramkumar Ramanathan

Yuki Bhambri

Prajnesh Gunneswaran

Sriram Balaji

Captain: Mahesh Bhupathi

 

Uzbekistan

Denis Istomin

Sanjar Fayziev

Temur Ismailov

Farrukh Dustov

Captain: Petr Lebed

 

ASIA/OCEANIA ZONE GROUP I FIRST ROUND RELEGATION PLAY-OFF

 

NEW ZEALAND v KOREA, REPUBLIC

Venue: ASB Tennis Arena, Auckland, NZL (hard – outdoor)

 

New Zealand

Jose Statham

Michael Venus

Marcus Daniell

Artem Sitak

Captain: Alistair Hunt

 

Korea, Republic

Kwon Soon Woo

Hong Seong Chan

Chung Hong

Lee Jea Moon

Captain: Kim Jae-Sik

 

AMERICAS ZONE GROUP I SECOND ROUND

 

ECUADOR v BRAZIL

Venue: Club Tungurahua, Ambato, ECU (clay – outdoor)

 

Ecuador

Emilio Gomez

Roberto Quiroz

Ivan Endara

Gonzalo Escobar

Captain: Raul Viver

 

Brazil

Thomaz Bellucci

Thiago Monteiro

Bruno Soares

Marcelo Melo

Captain: Joao Zwetsch

 

COLOMBIA v CHILE

Venue: Country Club Ejecutivos, Medellin, COL (clay – outdoor)

 

Colombia

Santiago Giraldo

Eduardo Struvay

Juan-Sebastian Cabal

Robert Farah

Captain: Pablo Gonzalez

 

Chile

Christian Garin

Nicolas Jarry

Marcelo Tomas Barrios Vera

Hans Podlipnik-Castillo

Captain: Nicolas Massu

 

EUROPE/AFRICA ZONE GROUP II SECOND ROUND

 

TURKEY v SWEDEN

Venue: Ali Bey Hotels & Resorts, Antalya, TUR (clay – outdoor)

 

Turkey

Marsel Ilhan

Cem Ilkel

Altug Celikbilek

Anil Yuksel

Captain: Haluk Akkoyun

 

Sweden

Elias Ymer

Christian Lindell

Andreas Siljestrom

Johan Brunstrom

Captain: Johan Hedsberg

 

GEORGIA v LITHUANIA

Venue: Mziuri Tennis Club, Tbilisi, GEO (hard – outdoor)

 

Georgia

Nikoloz Basilashvili

George Tsivadze

Zura Tkemaladze

Vazha Shubladze

Captain: David Kvernadze

 

Lithuania

Laurynas Grigelis

Lukas Mugevicius

Tadas Babelis

Tomas Vaise

Captain: Rimvydas Mugevicius

 

NORWAY v DENMARK

Venue: Stavanger Forum Expo, Stavanger, NOR (hard – indoor)

 

Norway

Casper Ruud

Viktor Durasovic

Simen Sunde Bratholm

Joachim Bjerke

Captain: Anders Haseth

 

Denmark

Frederik Nielsen

August Holmgren

Thomas Kromann

Soren Hess-Olesen

Captain: Kenneth Carlsen

 

SOUTH AFRICA v SLOVENIA

Venue: Irene Country Club, Centurion, RSA (hard – outdoor)

 

South Africa

Lloyd Harris

Nicolaas Scholtz

Ruan Roelofse

Raven Klaasen

Captain: Marcos Ondruska

 

Slovenia

Grega Zemlja

Tomislav Ternar

Mike Urbanija

Tilen Zitnik

Captain: Blaz Trupej

 

EUROPE/AFRICA ZONE GROUP II RELEGATION PLAY-OFFS

 

CYPRUS v TUNISIA

Venue: National Tennis Centre, Nicosia, CYP (hard – outdoor)

 

Cyprus

Marcos Baghdatis

Petros Chrysochos

Menelaos Efstathiou

Eleftherios Neos

Captain: Demetris Herodotou

 

Tunisia

Malek Jaziri

Moez Echargui

Aziz Dougaz

Skander Mansouri

Captain: Adel Brahim

 

FINLAND v MADAGASCAR

Venue: Hangon Urheilutalo, Hanko, FIN (hard – indoor)

 

Finland

Patrik Niklas-Salminen

Eero Vasa

Harri Heliovaara

Henri Kontinen

Captain: Kim Tiilikainen

 

Madagascar

Lofo Ramiaramanana

Antso Rakotondramanga

Jean-Jacques Rakotohasy

Lucas Andriamasilalao

Captain: Thierry Rajaobelina

 

MOROCCO v LATVIA

Venue: Royal Tennis Club de Marrakech, Marrakech, MAR  (clay – outdoor)

 

Morocco

Reda El Amrani

Amine Ahouda

Yassine Idmbarek

Mehdi Jdi

Captain: Mehdi Tahiri

 

Latvia

Mikelis Libietis

Martins Podzus

Rudolfs Mednis

Arturs Lazdins

Captain: Karlis Lejnieks

 

ESTONIA v MONACO

Venue: Tere Tennisekeskus, Tallinn, EST (hard – indoor)

 

Estonia

Jurgen Zopp

Vladimir Ivanov

Kenneth Raisma

Mattias Siimar

Captain: Ekke Tiidemann

 

Monaco

Benjamin Balleret

Lucas Catarina

Romain Arneodo

Thomas Oger

Captain: Guillaume Couillard

 

ASIA/OCEANIA ZONE GROUP II SECOND ROUND

 

THAILAND v PHILIPPINES

Venue: The National Tennis Development Center, Nonthaburi, THA (hard – outdoor)

 

Thailand

Wishaya Trongcharoenchaikul

Jirat Navasirisomboon

Sonchat Ratiwatana

Sanchai Ratiwatana

Captain: Vittaya Samrej

 

Philippines

Francis Casey Alcantara

Ruben Gonzales

Jeson Patrombon

Alberto Lim

Captain: Karl Santamaria

 

ASIA/OCEANIA ZONE GROUP II RELEGATION PLAY-OFFS

 

IRAN v VIETNAM

Venue: Isfahan Center Tennis Complex, Isfahan, IRI  (clay – outdoor)

 

Iran

Amirvala Madanchi

Shahin Khaledan

Ashkan Shokoofi

Hamid Reza Nadaf

Captain: Saeid Ahmadvand

 

Vietnam

Nam Hoang Ly

Thien Nguyen Hoang

Minh Tuan Pham

Quoc-Khanh Le

Captain: Quoc-Bao Troung

 

INDONESIA v KUWAIT

Venue: Gelora Manahan Tennis Stadium Complex, Solo, INA (hard – outdoor)

 

Indonesia

Christopher Rungkat

David Agung Susanto

Anthony Susanto

Aditya Hari Sasongko

Captain: Andrian Raturandang

 

Kuwait

Abdullah Maqdes

Abdulhamid Mubarak

Abdulrahman Alawadhi

Mohammad Ghareeb

Captain: Adel Al Shatti

 

AMERICAS ZONE GROUP II SECOND ROUND

 

BARBADOS v GUATEMALA

Venue: National Tennis Centre, St Michael, BAR (hard – outdoor)

 

Barbados

Darian King

Haydn Lewis

Adam Hornby

Seanon Williams

Captain: Damien Applewhaite

 

Guatemala

Christopher Diaz-Figueroa

Wilfredo Gonzalez

Rudy Richter

Luciano Ramazzini

Captain: Anthony Benjamin Vasquez Rodas

 

VENEZUELA v EL SALVADOR

Venue: Doral Park Country Club, Miami, USA (hard – outdoor)

 

Venezuela

Ricardo Rodriguez

Luis David Martinez

Jordi Munoz-Abreu

Jesus Bandres

Captain: Yohny Romero

 

El Salvador

TBC

 

AMERICAS ZONE GROUP II RELEGATION PLAY-OFFS

 

MEXICO v PARAGUAY

Venue: Polideportivo Metropolitano de Tenis, Zapopan, MEX (hard – outdoor)

 

Paraguay

Ayed Zatar

Juan Borba

Hernando Jose Escurra Isnardi

Captain: Diego Galeano

 

Mexico

TBC

 

BOLIVIA v BAHAMAS

Venue: Club de Tenis Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz de la Sierra, BOL (clay – outdoor)

 

Bolivia
Federico Zeballos
Hugo Dellien
Boris Arias
Juan Carlos Aguilar

Captain: Mauricio Solis

 

Bahamas
Spencer Newman
Phillip Major
Justin Lunn
Playing Captain: Marvin Rolle

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U. S. Names Sock, Isner, Querrey and Johnson To Davis Cup Team to Face Australia

TOP 30 AMERICANS JACK SOCK, JOHN ISNER,

SAM QUERREY, AND STEVE JOHNSON TO FACE AUSTRALIA

IN DAVIS CUP BY BNP PARIBAS WORLD GROUP QUARTERFINAL

 

Matches to be held at the Pat Rafter Arena in Brisbane, Australia, April 7-9

 

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y., March 28, 2017 – The USTA and United States Davis Cup Captain Jim Courier today announced that world No. 17 Jack Sock, No. 23 John Isner, No. 27 Sam Querrey and No. 28 Steve Johnson will represent the U.S. in the 2017 Davis Cup by BNP Paribas World Group Quarterfinal against Australia. The best-of-five match series will be played on an outdoor hard court at the Pat Rafter Arena in Brisbane, Australia, April 7-9.

 

Australian Davis Cup Captain Lleyton Hewitt nominated No. 16 Nick Kyrgios, No. 79 Jordan Thompson, No. 188 Sam Groth and John Peers, who is ranked No. 3 in doubles, to his team.

 

This marks the second consecutive year the U.S. has played at Australia in Davis Cup. Nations normally alternate which country hosts the other with each tie. However, the Americans and Australians played consecutive ties in the U.S. in 1997 and 1999, when the ITF staged the latter tie at the Longwood Cricket Club in Chestnut Hills, Mass., the site of the first-ever Davis Cup tie, as a 100th anniversary celebration of the competition. As a result, the two countries agreed their next two ties would be in Australia.

 

The U.S. has faced Australia in Davis Cup play more times than any country, holding a 26-20 all-time record in a rivalry that dates back to 1905. The U.S. won the last meeting, 3-1, in Kooyong, Australia, in the 2016 World Group First Round, led by Sock, Isner, and Bob and Mike Bryan. Earlier this year, the U.S. swept Switzerland, 5-0, in the World Group First Round in Birmingham, Ala., while Australia beat the Czech Republic, 4-1, in Kooyong. 

 

Play begins at 12 p.m. local time (10 p.m. ET the day prior) on Friday, April 7, and Sunday, April 9. Play begins on Saturday at 1 p.m. local time (11 p.m. ET on Friday).

 

Friday will include two singles matches featuring each country’s No. 1 player against the other country’s No. 2 player. Saturday’s schedule features the pivotal doubles match. And the final day of play on Sunday features the two “reverse singles” matches, when the No. 1 players square off, followed by the No. 2 players meeting each other in the final match. All matches are best-of-five sets until one nation clinches the tie. A revised schedule for Sunday may take place if a team clinches in the third or fourth match.

 

The winner of this tie advances to the World Group Semifinals, Sept. 15-17, for a chance to vie for the 2017 Davis Cup title. The semifinal opponent will be either Belgium or Italy.

 

Sock, 24, is ranked a career-high No. 17 in the world after winning his second and third career ATP titles this year in Auckland and Delray Beach, Fla., respectively, then reaching the semifinals of the BNP Paribas Open ATP Masters 1000 event in Indian Wells, Calif. Sock has played Davis Cup since the 2015 and holds a 4-2 record in singles, including a win over Marin Cilic in last summer’s quarterfinal vs. Croatia, and a 1-0 record in doubles. Sock won his first ATP singles title in 2015 in Houston, and he has also reached four additional ATP finals (Stockholm, Houston and Auckland in 2016; Stockholm in 2015). Sock has also thrived in doubles, winning the 2014 Wimbledon doubles title with Vasek Pospisil and capturing the gold medal in mixed doubles at the Rio Olympics with Bethanie Mattek-Sands. In 2011, he won the US Open mixed doubles title with fellow American Melanie Oudin. Sock peaked at a career-high No. 6 in the individual doubles rankings in May 2015.

 

Isner, 31, is ranked No. 23 in the current world rankings and will be competing in his 14th Davis Cup tie; he is 12-10 in singles and 2-0 in doubles. Isner’s biggest Davis Cup victory came in 2012, when he defeated Roger Federer in the U.S. Davis Cup team’s first-round win at Switzerland. The tallest player in U.S. Davis Cup history at 6-foot-10, Isner made his Davis Cup debut in the 2010 World Group First Round in Serbia, where he became the first U.S. player since 2003 to compete in three live rubbers in the same tie. He also represented the U.S. at the 2012 London Olympics, reaching the quarterfinals before losing to Federer. He holds 10 career tour singles titles, the last of which came in Atlanta in 2015. In 2016, Isner reached the final in Atlanta and at the Masters 1000 event in Paris and reached the fourth round of the Australian Open and French Open. Isner turned pro after an outstanding four-year career at the University of Georgia, leading the Bulldogs to the 2007 NCAA team title as a senior.

 

Querrey, 29, is ranked No. 27 after winning his ninth career ATP title in Acapulco a month ago, a tournament in which he defeated four straight Top 20 players: No. 11 David Goffin, No. 9 Dominic Thiem, No. 17 Kyrgios and No. 6 Rafael Nadal. Querrey is competing in his second straight tie and his 11th overall after winning a dead singles match in February’s World Group First Round vs. Switzerland. He made his Davis Cup debut in 2008, where he faced Nadal in his first-ever match. Querrey holds a 7-8 record in Davis Cup singles play and is 1-0 in doubles. He also competed in the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing. In 2016, Querrey advanced to the quarterfinals of Wimbledon, upsetting Novak Djokovic in the third round and becoming the first American to beat the No. 1 seed at a Grand Slam since 2002. In addition to his singles success, Querrey holds five ATP doubles titles, including two with Isner (Memphis in 2010 and Rome in 2011) and one with Johnson (Geneva in 2016). Querrey peaked at No. 17 in the world in January 2011.

 

Johnson, 27, is ranked No. 28 in the world. He is playing in his second consecutive Davis Cup tie and third overall, after clinching victory with Sock in doubles in February’s World Group First Round vs. Switzerland (he then won a dead singles rubber). Since then, Johnson has reached three straight ATP quarterfinals, most recently falling to Federer in two tiebreaks in the third round at Indian Wells. Johnson started 2017 strong by reaching the semifinals in Auckland, losing to Sock. In 2016, he won his first career ATP singles title in Birmingham, Great Britain. Also in 2016, he advanced to the fourth round of Wimbledon for the first time, the semifinals of the Citi Open in Washington D.C., and captured the bronze medal in men’s doubles at the Rio Olympics with Sock. Johnson, who peaked at No. 21 in the world in July 2016, turned pro in 2012 after an outstanding college tennis career at USC; he won the 2011 and 2012 NCAA singles championships and led the Trojans to team titles all four years he played for the school. Following the end of his collegiate career, he reached the third round of the 2012 US Open, becoming the first reigning NCAA champion to advance to the third round of the men’s singles since 1995.

 

Additionally, Courier announced that Connor Smith will be the practice partner for the U.S. Davis Cup team. Smith was also a practice partner for the U.S. Davis Cup team in Australia in 2016. Smith, 26, graduated from Ohio State in 2013 after transferring from Florida State following his sophomore season. He went 36-7 in singles and 33-7 in doubles during his senior year. Smith holds six USTA Pro Circuit/ITF Circuit singles titles and 14 doubles titles, including two doubles titles this year held at the new USTA National Campus at Lake Nona in Orlando, Fla. In 2016, he competed in Australian Open qualifying for the first time. Smith is ranked No. 329 in the world.

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LTA Names Davis Cup Squad; Andy Murray Sidelined with Injury

(March 28, 2017) The Lawn Tennis Association (LTA) has today named the Great Britain squad to contest the Davis Cup by BNP Paribas World Group quarter-final against France from April 7-9, 2017 at the  Kindarena, Rouen, France.

 

The Aegon GB Davis Cup Team, which will be led by captain Leon Smith, will comprise of:

  • Kyle Edmund (S-45)
  • Dan Evans (S- 43)
  • Jamie Murray (D-7)
  • Dominic Inglot (D-45)

Speaking on the announcement, Aegon GB Davis Cup Captain Leon Smith said: “In Dan and Kyle we have two Top-50 singles players who are improving all the time on the tour and both with games capable of upsetting higher ranked opponents. Jamie and Dom once again combine as our doubles team and will draw much confidence after performing so well recently to win key rubbers against Serbia and Canada to defeat Daniel Nestor and Vasek Pospisil.

“This is a team with significant Davis Cup experience now and these guys have all stepped up and delivered performances at the very top of the competition. Not having Andy in the side is obviously a big loss to our team but most importantly we all wish him well for a speedy recovery back to full health and fitness. I know that he would really want to be here with the rest of the team.

“Facing France in a Davis Cup tie is a tough test for any group of players and this Rouen quarterfinal will be no exception. They have the strongest depth of squad by far, out of any nation in the competition.

“The dedication of our fans is something special. This was demonstrated most recently by the incredible support we received in Ottawa. For me and all of the players they feel very much part of this team.”

 

Tara McGregor-Woodhams, Head of Brand and Sponsorship Aegon UK, added: “We wish Leon and all of the Aegon GB Davis Cup team the very best of luck against France.  We are so proud to support the team, especially during this historic period for British tennis. Leon and his team delivered a remarkable victory against France at The Queen’s Club in 2015 and we look forward to another thrilling encounter between these two great tennis nations.”

 

Great Britain and France are meeting for the 22nd time and for the second time in three years. The previous meeting, in their 2015 championship winning year, saw Great Britain triumph 3-1 in a memorable encounter at The Queen’s Club, London.

 

The winners of the tie will face either Serbia or Spain in the semifinals from September 15-17, 2017. For further information please go to www.lta.org.uk/DavisCup.

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Davis Cup: U.S. Shuts Out The Swiss – Querrey, Johnson Close Out World Group First Round With Singles Wins

DAVIS CUP: U.S. SHUTS OUT THE SWISS
Querrey, Johnson Close Out World Group First Round With Singles Wins

By Junior Williams

(February 5, 2017) BIRMINGHAM, Alabama – Americans Sam Querrey and Steve Johnson each posted straight sets victories in dead rubbers to give the United States a 5-0 victory over Switzerland in the Davis Cup World Group first round.

Querrey defeated lefty Adrien Bossel 6-3, 7-5 in a 73-minute match. The Californian blasted 16 aces past the 485th-ranked Bossel and faced zero break points.

It took Johnson only an hour to beat another Swiss left-hander — 20-year old Antoine Bellier — 6-4, 6-3, in a very entertaining match featuring powerful groundstrokes and strong returns. The players combined committed only 16 unforced errors for the entire match.

The U.S. now turns its attention to the quarterfinals in April, when the team will face Australia in a road tie. The Aussies will be looking for revenge after losing in the first round last year to the Americans in Kooyong.

Australia will be hosting team USA for a second straight tie, however, the visitor will have choice of ground – hardcourt. Normally nations alternate hosting ties, but the U.S. and Australia played consecutive ties in U.S. in 1997 and 1999, in order for the U.S. to host the 100th anniversary of Davis Cup at the Longwood Cricket Club in Chestnut Hills, Mass., the site of the first-ever Davis Cup tie. TEam USA is 26-20 versus Australia in Davis Cup play.

Switzerland will try to remain in the World Group by winning its play-off match-up September 15-17.

—-

The U.S. victory marks the second straight American sweep of the Swiss. The last one was a 2012 shocker on clay in Fribourg, Switzerland that included Mardy Fish defeating Stan Wawrinka 9-7 in the 5th set, John Isner beating Roger Federer in four sets – and a doubles win for Mike Bryan and Fish over Federer and Wawrinka, also in four sets.

Junior Williams is a long-time journalist and tennis fan. At a moment’s notice, he can give you a list of all the Davis Cup match-ups that would give the USA home ties. He is in Birmingham, Alabama covering the Davis Cup first round World Group tie between the United States and Switzerland for Tennis Panorama News.

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Final results
Singles A: Jack Sock (USA) d. Marco Chiudinelli (SUI), 6-4, 6-3, 6-1
Singles B: John Isner (USA) d. Henri Laaksonen (SUI), 4-6, 6-2, 6-2, 7-6(1)
Doubles: Jack Sock/Steve Johnson (USA)
d. Adrien Bossel/Henri Laaksonen (SUI), 7-6(3), 6-3, 7-6(5)
Singles C: Sam Querrey (USA) d. Adrien Bossel (SUI), 6-3, 7-5
Singles D: Steve Johnson (USA) d. Antoine Bellier (SUI), 6-4, 6-3

 

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Davis Cup: U.S. Clinches Quarterfinal Berth; Sock and Johnson defeat Switzerland In World Group First Round Tie

DAVIS CUP: U.S. CLINCHES QUARTERFINAL BERTH

Sock and Johnson defeat Switzerland In World Group First Round Tie

 

 

By Junior Williams

 

(February 4, 2017) BIRMINGHAM, Alabama – For the clincher, United States Davis Cup Captain Jim Courier called on the 2016 Olympic bronze medal doubles team.

Jack Sock and Steve Johnson delivered for the U.S. with a 7-6(3), 6-3, 7-6(5) victory over Switzerland’s Adrien Bossel and Henri Laaksonen. The win gives the Americans an insurmountable 3-0 lead in this World Group first round tie, advancing to the quarterfinals, where they’ll face Australia on the road for a second consecutive year.

Both Courier and Swiss Captain Severin Luthi switched up their originally scheduled lineups: Jack Sock replaced Sam Querrey for the Americans, while Luthi went with Laaksonen instead of Antoine Bellier. Laaksonen had an impressive return of serve during Friday’s second singles rubber, despite losing to John Isner in four sets.

The U.S. took the lead in the first set, winning a tiebreak capped by a Steve Johnson forehand winner up the sideline to go up 6-3, followed by a Johnson forehand that was hit long by the Swiss. The Americans won 85-percent of their first serve points in the set.

Serving in the first game of the second set, Jack Sock vehemently disputed a lineman’s foot fault call, but to no avail. As the game went on the U.S. found itself in a 0-40 hole, but eventually staved off those three break points and held serve. The Americans broke the Swiss in the next game, which ended with a thrilling rally punctuated by a Sock winner at net — bringing fans at the Legacy Arena at Birmingham-Jefferson Convention Complex to their feet.

Both teams exchanged breaks of serve later in the set, but the U.S. went on to win it on a Sock service winner. A stellar performance at the net by Johnson also a major factor contributing to the Americans’ two set lead.

Switzerland refused to go quietly. Spurred on by their fans chanting “Hop Suisse,” the Swiss team broke the U.S. to go up 3-1 in the third set on a Laaksonen overhead smash at net. But the visitors blew a golden opportunity when the Americans staved off three set points and broke Switzerland to get the set back on serve at 5-4.

The U.S. closed out the rubber and clinched the tie by winning a third set tiebreak, which ended with the Swiss at net hitting the ball past the baseline. After each team shook hands, the American team took a victory lap around the court with the U.S. flag, cheered on by the home crowd.

Despite being heavy underdogs without their top guns Roger Federer and Stan Wawrinka, the Swiss have given the U.S. a good fight – and will attempt to remain in Davis Cup’s top tier when they compete in the World Group Play-offs this coming September.

“If you lose, it’s disappointed that you lost,” noted Swiss captain Severin Luthi. “I mean, I’m never like happy when we lose or if I lose. Even if it’s card games or whatever, I’m never happy.

“So disappointed. But, again, I have to say the same as yesterday. It wasn’t the performance of the players at all, you know. I thought they gave everything. They were, yeah — they had chances first and third set, and unfortunately we just couldn’t make it.”

Australia will be hosting team USA for a second straight tie, however, the visitor will have choice of ground – hardcourt. Normally nations alternate hosting ties, but the U.S. and Australia played consecutive ties in U.S. in 1997 and 1999, in order for the U.S. to host the 100th anniversary of Davis Cup at the Longwood Cricket Club in Chestnut Hills, Mass., the site of the first-ever Davis Cup tie.

“We’re looking forward to the opportunity to go back and battle those guys (Australia) again,” said U.S. Davis Cup Captain Jim Courier. “They came through pretty comfortably as well. Hugely talented team. Passionate Davis Cup nation. Had a lot of fun playing down in Melbourne with them.

“Obviously got the result we wanted which makes it a lot more fun, but they’re a knowledgeable crowd and they have won a ton of Davis Cups, so they know what it’s all about.

“It will be exciting for us to go down. We’re already talking about it, looking forward to it. We have work to do tomorrow. We’re not your overlooking the matches on Sunday. We will be ready to play tomorrow for sure, even though this thing is decided.

“I think I can speak for all of us when I say we’re anxious to get down there and battle on. We really want to get out to the semifinals and see what we can do this year.”

Two dead rubbers are scheduled for Sunday – and we have yet to see Querrey and Bellier play in this tie.

Junior Williams is a long-time journalist and tennis fan. At a moment’s notice, he can give you a list of all the Davis Cup match-ups that would give the USA home ties. He is in Birmingham, Alabama covering the Davis Cup first round World Group tie between the United States and Switzerland for Tennis Panorama News.

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Canada and Great Britain Tied at 1-1 After Day One of Davis Cup Play

 

 

Vasek Pospisil

(February 3, 2017) OTTAWA 0 Tennis Canada– The Canadian Davis Cup team sits tied with Great Britain 1-1 following the opening day of action at the Davis Cup by BNP Paribas World Group first-round tie at TD Place in Ottawa. Great Britain’s top player, Daniel Evans, secured the first victory of the day on Friday, defeating Denis Shapovalov (Richmond Hill, Ont.) 6-3, 6-3, 6-4 before Canada’s No. 1 player, Vasek Pospisil (Vancouver), overcame Kyle Edmund 6-4, 6-1, 7-6(3).

World No. 45 Evans unhinged Shapovalov in one hour and 50 minutes, breaking the 17-year-old Canadian four times in the three-setter to give Great Britain the early lead. While Shapovalov flaunted his powerful serve, firing 13 aces to Evans’ three, young nerves seemed to have contributed to his 39 unforced errors on the scoresheet.

“Just [Evans’] confidence alone, those points at deuce, those break points. He knows he’s got them, he knows what to do,” Shapovalov said in the post-match press conference. “I think I played the right way, my strategy was right. I felt like I was right there with him. It was very close and I had my chances but he played the big points better. That’s tennis, I’ve got to move on from it.”

Denis Shapovalov

But Shapovalov has shifted his focus to the matches ahead, and kept the bigger picture in perspective.

“I’m playing for my country first of all, and myself second so I’m going to give it all I have every single match I play, so that was that. The match is over and I did everything I could. Now I’m getting ready for Sunday.”

In the second match of the day, Pospisil turned things around for Canada. He dominated Great Britain’s No. 2 player Kyle Edmund and closed out the second match of the day in just over two hours. The 22-year-old Brit challenged Pospisil in the third set, forcing a tiebreak, but a strong performance from the Vancouver resident at the net and the support of a roaring crowd helped him capture the win. Pospisil won 86 per cent of first serve points, and didn’t allow Edmund a single break from four opportunities throughout the contest.

“I’ve been struggling of late to get some momentum and rhythm in matches and confidence. It’s been a bit frustrating but I’ve been trying to stay patient and I knew that it was going to click at some point. This is a bit of a turning point for me, and Davis Cup is a good platform for me to get some confidence and momentum,” Pospisil said after the match. “I enjoy playing in front of a home crowd, and for my team and country. Whether it’s that’s little bit of adrenaline to get me out of a slump, I don’t know but I’m definitely thrilled with the way I played.”
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“This court suits Vasek really well,” said Canadian captain Martin Laurendeau. “It forces him to play a certain way and it exposes his strengths tremendously. I had full confidence in Vasek going in. The set-up is perfect for him – Davis Cup and especially the crowd.”

The crowd in question, which was the largest-ever attended Davis Cup day hosted in Canada, clocked in at 6,962 and provided constant energy and support throughout the day’s action.

Play picks back up on Saturday at 1 p.m. ET with the doubles match, scheduled to feature Canadians Daniel Nestor (Toronto) and Pospisil against Jamie Murray and Dominic Inglot. The team captains have until one hour before the match to change their nominations. The tie will conclude on Sunday with the two reverse singles matches, scheduled to begin at 12 p.m. ET. All matches will be best-of-five sets, with the exception of Sunday’s matches if the tie has already been decided.

Limited availability for tickets on Saturday and Sunday remain. They can be purchased online at TDPlace.ca, by phone at 1-877-489-2849, or in person at the box office at TD Place.

Matches will be shown on Sportsnet ONE on Saturday and OLN on Sunday, and TVA Sports on both days. Please check local listings for the full schedule.

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Davis Cup: Home Cookin’ in the Deep South; Sock, Isner Give U.S. 2-0 Lead Over Switzerland In First Round

 

DAVIS CUP: HOME COOKING IN THE DEEP SOUTH

Sock, Isner Give U.S. 2-0 Lead Over Switzerland In First Round

 

By Junior Williams

 

(February 3, 2017) BIRMINGHAM, Alabama – The heavily favored United States team lived up to expectations as Jack Sock and John Isner won their respective singles rubbers against Switzerland, giving the Americans a 2-0 lead in the first round of Davis Cup Cup World Group competition at Legacy Arena at Birmingham-Jefferson Convention Complex.

 

Switzerland is playing this tie without its two top players – world No. 3 Stan Wawrinka and No. 10 Roger Federer who won the Australian Open last week.

 

Isner’s victory over world No. 127 Henri Laaksonen was far from a cakewalk. It took two hours and 44 minutes for the American to win the rubber 4-6, 6-2, 6-2, 7-6(1).

 

In the first set, Isner’s powerful service game was blunted by Laaksonen executing solid returns and winning long rallies. Isner saved three break points to knot the set at 4-4, but the Swiss went on to win the set by breaking the world No. 23.

Isner committed 21 unforced errors during the set and backhanded numerous shots into the net.

 

The 31-year old Isner seemed to find his rhythm in the second set after breaking Laaksonen to go up 3-2, helped by a more effective service game — striking seven aces during the set and winning 84-percent of his first serve points. On the flip side, Laaksonen committed three double faults, including one that gave the U.S. a 5-2 advantage. Isner won the next game, closing it out with his 12th ace of the match.

John Isner

The American got off to a fast start in the third set. He broke the Swiss in the first game with a winning forehand passing shot as Laaksonen approached the net. Isner held in the second game, but not before staving off three break points. In this set it was Laaksonen with 21 unforced errors helping Isner cruise through the remainder of the set.

 

The fourth set was a tight affair as both players battled. Isner was visibly frustrated by the 24-year old Laaksonen’s returns and defensive play. But when tiebreak time came around, it was all Isner. After a mini-break on the first point — followed by two service winners — victory came five points later when Laaksonen double faulted. During the on-court post-match interview, Isner admitted to being nervous at times during the match.

 

“I’ll take the film of that first set and just throw it in the fire, delete that one,” Isner said in his post-match news conference. “I think more than anything I was a little bit nervous, and that was affecting my footwork quite a lot. With me being so big and when my footed work is not sharp, it can be ugly. It was in the first set.”

 

Jim stayed on me to stay positive, even though I wasn’t feeling very positive out there. I think that’s actually what tilted the match in my favor a little bit. Certainly could have been cleaner, but Davis Cup you ties throw out rankings and whatnot, it’s tough touch out there in these matches, so I’m happy to get the win.

 

In the first rubber, it took just under two hours for No. 1 American Jack Sock to defeat Marco Chiudinelli — ranked 146 in the world — 6-4, 6-3, 6-1. Things were pretty even until Sock won the first set by breaking Chiudinelli with an overhead lob that was retrieved but hit just wide of the sideline.

 

“There are always few extra nerves I think playing Davis Cup,” Sock said. “When you’re playing for your country, being a part of a team, maybe at a normal event, normal tournament, you come out swinging a little bit more.

“I think I was a little hesitant at the beginning; maybe too conservative playing when obviously my game is to kind of play big and hit big forehands and be aggressive.”

Sock continued to put pressure on the 35-year old Swiss by stepping up his aggressive play, with solid ground strokes and serves with some net play in the mix. For the match, Sock had 29 total winners to Chiudinelli’s eleven. The Nebraska-born 24-year old was never broken in four attempts.

 

The U.S. can clinch the tie by winning Saturday’s doubles match-up — scheduled to be Sam Querrey and Steve Johnson versus Switzerland’s Antoine Bellier and Adrien Bossel. Bellier’s heroics kept the Swiss in the top tier of Davis Cup, courtesy of his 2016 World Group play-off win in the deciding rubber against Uzbekistan back in September.

 

Team USA is not taking anything for granted. They had a 2-0 lead back in July and lost in the quarterfinals to Croatia.

 

Jack Sock

 

“I think as a whole, as a team, like I said, we’re not taking anyone lightly,” Sock noted. “But at the same time, we’re confident in our squad and our four guys in the matchups this weekend.

“We’re going to go one match at time and get one point at time.”

 

A victory would earn the Americans a quarterfinal trip to Australia — a rematch of last year’s first round tie won by the U.S. at Kooyong. Australia clinched their tie against the Czech Republic with a doubles win to give them a 3-0 lead.

 

—–

 

EXTRAS:

 

John Isner notched his 500th Davis Cup ace during the fourth set of his match against Henri Laaksonen.

 

Isner was not aware of this upcoming milestone: “I was wondering, because I heard them say 500. I was wondering what that was. Thank you for clarifying that. I had no idea I was close to that in Davis Cup play.

“You know, I’ve been fortunate enough to be able to play in a lot of singles matches on the Davis Cup team. I guess that’s a pretty cool number to achieve.

“More than anything, I’m just happy I was able to get the win today. I thought the crowd was great, and we’re up 2-0. We’re in a pretty good spot.”

 

“But Davis Cup anything can happen. You see it every year. Every tie almost you see some kind of crazy things happen.”

 

Unusual for a Davis Cup tie in the U.S. to have a serve speed clock deliver results in kilometers per hour instead of miles per hour. Fans in the stands were trying to guess the actual MPH.

 

Junior Williams is a long-time journalist and tennis fan. At a moment’s notice, he can give you a list of all the Davis Cup match-ups that would give the USA home ties. He is in Birmingham, Alabama covering the Davis Cup first round World Group tie between the United States and Switzerland for Tennis Panorama News.

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Sock to Lead Off for USA Against Switzerland in Davis Cup; Courier Reflects on Team USA’s Past and Future

(February 2, 2017) In celebration of Groundhog Day, “Birmingham Bill” of the Birmingham Zoo picked the first match-up of the draw for the U.S. vs. Switzerland Davis Cup World Group First Round tie in Birmingham, Ala. on Thursday.

 

Day one will pit the No. 1 singles of their respective teams versus the No. 2 players on the other team.

American Jack Sock ranked No. 20 in the world will take on Marco Chiudinelli, ranked No. 46, followed by No. 23 John Isner against No. 127-ranked Henri Laaksonen. Sock is 3-2 in Davis Cup Singles play, while his opponent is 6-12. Isner beat Roger Federer when the U.S. shutout Switzerland 5-0 in the cup tie in Fribourg back in 2012.

 

Here is the lineup for the weekend tie:

 

Friday, February 3, 3:00 p.m. Central

Singles A: Jack Sock (USA) vs. Marco Chiudinelli (SUI)

Singles B: John Isner (USA) vs. Henri Laaksonen(SUI)

 

Saturday, February 4, 2:00 p.m. Central

Doubles:

*Sam Querrey/Steve Johnson (USA) vs. Adrien Bossel/Antoine Bellier (SUI)

 

Sunday, February 5, 11:00 a.m., Central

Singles C:Jack Sock (USA) vs. Henri Laaksonen (SUI)

Singles D: John Isner (USA) vs. Marco Chiudinelli (SUI)

 

*Team captains may substitute the doubles team up to one hour before the match.

 

December will mark ten years since the United States won Davis Cup. With the Bryan brothers retiring from Davis Cup play and former star Andy Roddick about to be inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame, the USA Captain reflected about the current team carrying American tennis forward since that group of players won the cup in Portland in 2007.

 

“First of all, we’ve been unbelievably lucky to have a great generation of Davis Cup players in Andy (Roddick) and James (Blake) and Mardy (Fish) and Bob and Mike Bryan that did great things for this country,” Courier said.

 

“They’ve passed that baton now off to these guys. It’s the turn and the privilege of these four players I’m sitting with right now to carry American tennis fans and the American flag for us.

 

“They’re ready for it. These guys are battle-tested, they’re veterans on tour, and they’re ready for this responsibility. It’s a great privilege to go out there and play for the United States. These guys are anxious to do that. They’ve answered the call every time they’ve been asked to play for the U.S. I expect that will continue to be the path.

 

“So it’s an exciting new time for us as a team. There’s no doubt that we’re indebted to the great service of Bob and Mike Bryan. I hope they continue to play great as long as they’re still on tour. We’ll miss them on this team, but I feel confident in the group we have assembled here and their capabilities both in singles and doubles.

 

“We have a lot of options at our disposal now, where you’re a little bit more limited when you go with two doubles players and two singles players from an injury standpoint.

 

“There are pluses and minuses. Fortunately we never got into a position with Bob and Mike where we had an injury issue that impacted us as a team. But we’re looking forward to what this year will bring. 2017, we’re excited to start at home. We need to get off to a good start obviously. We won’t take anything for granted. We’ll be ready to play, as I mentioned. But it’s a new page, a new chapter in the U.S. Davis Cup team. It starts right here, right now.”

 

As to the future of American men’s tennis, Courier sad: “You’re looking at the present and the future of it right here, for starters. The even better news is that we have a cluster of 18, 19 and 20-yearolds that are starting to make their way onto the tour, starting to get through the challengers, move up to tour level.

 

“I was lucky enough to come through a generation that pushed each other. We had a cluster back then. We were able to push each other to great heights.

 

“It can only benefit American tennis if we have this young group here. I know these guys are very proud of their positions that they’ve earned in the sport. They’re not going to let those youngsters come up and take them easily either. That will be fun, I think, to see everyone pushing in the same direction, to try to get a few more names on the sports pages for American tennis. That would be a good thing, for sure.

 

“But there’s a lot of work ahead of those youngsters, too. I’m fortunate enough to get a chance to see a lot of it down in Orlando at the new home of American tennis. A lot of them are training there. Jack has been there, as well, to check it out. We’re in the beginning stages of seeing some nice transition from juniors to professional tennis from a big group of players. That will be very fun to watch.”

 

Team USA holds a  3-1 record against the Swiss in Davis Cup play, with the the two countries’ last meeting in Birmingham, winning 4-1 win for the U.S. in the 2009 World Group First Round at the same venue – Legacy Arena.

 

The winner of this tie moves into the World Group Quarterfinal, April 7-9, and will play either the Czech Republic or Australia. The losing country will compete in the World Group Playoff, Sept. 15-17, to try and stay in the World Group in 2018.

 

Related Articles:

Tennis Channel To Air USA vs. Switzerland Davis Cup Tie; Tennis Channel, Tennis Channel Plus to Cover Six Davis Cup Matchups This Weekend

Nominations Announced for Davis Cup World Group First Round and Zone Group Ties

U.S. Davis Captain Jim Courier on Tie Against Switzerland: “We don’t expect it to be easy”

Borna Coric Beats Jack Sock to Complete Croatia Comeback from 0-2 to Send Team to Davis Cup Semis

Friendly Fribourg; The Swiss City Did Itself Proud As a Davis Cup Host

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Tennis Channel To Air USA vs. Switzerland Davis Cup Tie; Tennis Channel, Tennis Channel Plus to Cover Six Davis Cup Matchups This Weekend

(February 1, 2017) LOS ANGELES –Tennis Channel will provide complete live coverage of the U.S. Davis Cup team’s first-round competition against Switzerland in Birmingham, Ala., this weekend, with the first match underway Friday, Feb. 3, at 4 p.m. ET. Hall of Fame Captain (and Tennis Channel analyst) Jim Courier will lead the four highest-ranked American men’s singles players – John Isner, Jack Sock, Steve Johnson and Sam Querrey – into battle this weekend.

 

The meeting will consist of two singles matches on Friday, followed by the doubles match Saturday, Feb. 4, at 3 p.m. ET. Tennis Channel’s coverage concludes with the remaining singles play Sunday, Feb. 5, at 12 p.m. ET. Each match is worth one point, with three victories enough to secure a trip to the April quarterfinals to play the winner of this weekend’s Australia and Czech Republic competition.

 

The match-up is one of six carried live in their entirety on Tennis Channel and Tennis Channel Plus this weekend. Beginning Thursday, Feb. 2, television and digital subscribers will be able to watch Davis Cup action between: United States-Switzerland (Birmingham) Australia-Czech Republic (Melbourne, Australia), Japan-France (Tokyo), Croatia-Spain (Osijek, Croatia), Serbia-Russia (Nis, Serbia) and Canada-Britain (Ottawa, Canada). The network will offer live look-ins at the Australia-Czech Republic and Croatia-Spain competitions. Viewers can also catch Davis Cup matches on-demand on Tennis Channel Plus, the digital subscription service available to everyone in the United States, regardless of whether they currently subscribe to the television network. Among the stars set to play Davis Cup this weekend are Serbia’s Novak Djokovic, France’s Richard Gasquet, Australia’s Nick Kyrgios and Britain’s Jamie Murray.

The United States holds a 3-1 record against Switzerland. The most recent meeting between the two nations was in 2012, when the United States beat Switzerland 5-0 in Fribourg, Switzerland. The Swiss team’s sole victory over the Americans came in 2001. However, Switzerland will be without newly crowned Australian Open champion and former World No. 1 Roger Federer, who in 2001 led the team to a 3-2 triumph over the Americans in Basel, Switzerland. The United States, which leads all nations in Davis Cup titles, has clinched the trophy on 32 occasions, the most recent in 2007.

 

As a player, U.S. Davis Cup captain Jim Courier was on the 1992 team that beat Switzerland 3-1 to win the Davis Cup championship. For the 2017 edition, Isner holds 10 career singles titles and recently advanced to the finals at the ATP Masters 1000 in Paris in November before falling to World No. 1 Andy Murray. Sock started off the year by winning his second title at the ASB Classic in Auckland, New Zealand, and comes into this weekend after an impressive third-round appearance at the Australian Open. Last year, Johnson captured his first ATP singles title at the Nottingham Open in England, and had his best performance at a Grand Slam in the fourth round at Wimbledon before falling to Federer. Querrey teamed up with Johnson at the Geneva Open in Geneva, Switzerland, to win their first doubles title as a pair in May, and enters this weekend’s match-up after falling to Murray in the third round at this year’s the Australian Open.

 

The Swiss team won the Davis Cup title for the first time in 2014 with the help of Federer and current World No. 3 Stan Wawrinka. This year’s team is captained by retired tennis player Severin Luthi and features Marco Chiudinelli, Henri Laaksonen, Adrien Bossel and Antoine Bellier.

 

Tennis Channel’s live Davis Cup coverage is as follows (all times ET):

Thursday, Feb 2:

7 p.m. – Singles Australia v. Czech Republic

9 p.m. – Singles Japan v. France (Tennis Channel Plus)

 

Friday, Feb. 3:

9 a.m. – Singles Croatia v. Spain/Singles Serbia v. Russia (Tennis Channel Plus)

3 p.m. – Singles Canada v. Britain (Tennis Channel Plus)

4 p.m. – Singles United States v. Switzerland

8 p.m. – Doubles Australia v. Czech Republic

10 p.m. – Doubles Japan v. France (Tennis Channel Plus)

 

Saturday, Feb. 4:

10 a.m. – Doubles Croatia v. Spain/Doubles Serbia v. Russia (Tennis Channel Plus)

1 p.m. – Doubles Canada v. Britain (Tennis Channel Plus)

3 p.m. – Doubles United States v. Switzerland

7 p.m. – Singles Australia v. Czech Republic

9 p.m. – Singles Japan v. France (Tennis Channel Plus)

 

Sunday, Feb. 5:

8 a.m. – Singles Serbia v. Russia (Tennis Channel Plus)

9 a.m. – Singles Croatia v. Spain

12 p.m. – Singles United States v. Switzerland/Singles Canada v. Britain (Tennis Channel Plus)

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U.S. Davis Captain Jim Courier on Tie Against Switzerland: “We don’t expect it to be easy”

U. S. Davis Cup Captain Jim Courier

(January 31, 2017) The United States Davis Cup team will face off in the first round of World Group against Switzerland at the Legacy Arena at the Birmingham-Jefferson Convention Complex in Birmingham, Alabama.  The Swiss team will be without their top players – world No. 3 Stan Wawrinka and No. 10 Roger Federer, who won the Australian Open on Sunday for his 18th major.

The U.S. team will consist of No. 20 Jack Sock,  No. 23 John Isner, No. 27 Sam Querrey and No. 31 Steve Johnson. Representing team Switzerland will be No. 127 Henri Laaksonen, No. 146 Marco Chiudinelli No. 485 Adrien Bossel and No. 598 Antoine Bellier.

Back on 2009, the U.S. also played Switzerland in Birmingham.

Both teams took part in pre-draw news conferences on Tuesday.

Playing Switzerland without their top two players, looks like an easy task for team USA this weekend, but USA Captain Jim Courier says there are no “gimmies.”

“Now, rankings don’t mean anything,” he said. “Once you get on the court, the ball doesn’t care what your ranking is. You have to hit the shots and win the points.

“We come in ready to play and ready to fight for every point. We don’t expect it to be easy.”

We’re confident that we have four great players here ready to go to battle in five matches,” Courier continued.

“It’s nice to play at home, of course. Nice to have a facility that we like, like this, a court that we like, like this. It’s not always the case.”

Swiss Captain Severin Luthi acknowledged that this weekend won’t be an easy task without Wawrinka and Federer.

“We have the best players behind them here, he said. “We’re going to try to do our best and give 100%. We’ll also try to improve this week. All the rest really doesn’t matter for us.”

“I think one of our strengths is really that the players we have here, especially Marco and Henri, who played more matches already in Davis Cup, they’re always playing well. They give all the time 100%. They’re ready to fight. Yeah, they had good results in Davis Cup. I think that’s one of our big strengths.

“With Antoine, we have a rather young player who is playing the first time last year and helped us staying in the Group. With Adrien also we won the doubles there.

“Obviously we’re completely outsiders here, but as I said, we’re going to try our best and give 100%.”

Bob and Mike Bryan announced their retirement from playing Davis Cup last week during the Australian Open.

“We were blessed to have Bob and Mike on our team for so many years,” Courier said. “They’re incredible. We’ll miss them for sure.

“I have a lot of confidence in these guys. Any combination of these four players would be a very, very good doubles team.

“It is different to not have Bob and Mike here. I wouldn’t say it’s better, but I would say that we feel comfortable that we have great options at our disposal for all of the matches.”

Swiss Captain Luthi was asked if the absence of the Bryan brothers was advantage to his team: “Honestly, I don’t think that it’s a big advantage because they have more flexibility like that for singles also. When they had the brothers in the team, you knew which players are going to play singles.

“Now, like I mentioned, I think all four players can also play doubles. They can change. They can wait and see how the matches on Friday went.

“I don’t think that it’s an advantage for us.”

The draw ceremony will take place on Thursday at the Birmingham Zoo at Noon.

The Davis Cup ties takes place  this weekend February 3-5, on an indoor hard court. Singles play begins at 3:00 p.m. CT on Friday, February 3. Doubles play begins on Saturday at 2:00 p.m. CT. The final two singles matches will be held on Sunday at 11:00 a.m. CT. Tennis Channel will broadcast daily coverage.

The winner of this tie advances to the World Group Quarterfinals to be played April 7-9, against the winner of the Czech Republic vs. Australia tie. The losing nation will compete in the World Group Playoff, Sept. 15-17, for the right to remain in the World Group in 2018.

 

For information on the tie from the USTA .

Related Articles:

Isner, Sock, Johnson and Querrey Named to U.S. Davis Cup Team

Bryan Brothers Retire From U.S. Davis Cup Team

Friendly Fribourg; The Swiss City Did Itself Proud As a Davis Cup Host

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