(January 29, 2013) The 2013 Davis Cup World Group first round tie between the United States and Brazil will take place this weekend from February 1 – 3, in Jacksonville, Fla., at the Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena on an indoor hard court.
The US team, as of now will consist of John Isner, Sam Querrey, Bob and Mike Bryan while the Brazilian team will be composed of Thomaz Bellucci, Thiago Alves, Marcelo Melo and Bruno Soares.
On Tuesday both the US and Brazilian Davis Cup teams held pre-draw news conferences at the Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena.
John Isner who pulled out of the Australian Open due to a bruised right knee may not be 100 percent for the tie, but he’s in Jacksonville preparing.
“It’s definitely been feeling better,“ Isner said. I’ve been doing everything I can to try to get this better.
“Really, once I pulled out of Australia, there wasn’t much I could do besides rest. Rest was the most important thing. I can ice it five, six times a day. I can do some treatment on it. But the most important thing for me was rest. I definitely have that.
“My knee, it is feeling better. Hopefully I’ll be able to go on Friday. I would really like that. We have to see how this week progresses.”
Not taking any chances, US Davis cup Captain Jim Courier has a backup plan – Ryan Harrison.
“John is here and obviously we’re hopeful he’s going to be prepared to play come Friday,“ Courier said. “But we have Ryan Harrison, as well, practicing with us. Ryan is certainly prepared to step in should John not be ready to go.”
Mardy Fish is also practicing with the team but is not match ready. He’s been off the tour with heart trouble.
“We’re glad to have him practicing with the team,“ Courier said.
“He’s building back up to be at tour level. He’s not going to be quite ready to go here.”
Well, we have a great medical support team here who will certainly make a decision whether John is fit to play or not,” Courier said.
“That will be one portion of the decision. The rest of it will just be between John and probably me and Jay Berger, our coach, as well to see if he’s ready to go.
“By Thursday when the draw comes out, we’ll name our firm four-player team, the Brazilians will do the same, and we’ll know what the options are from there.
“I think I speak for everyone when I say it’s a huge, huge honor,” said Isner.
“We’re excited to finally, myself and Sam, to play on home soil. We’ve never played a match in the U.S. I think both of us are looking forward to that.”
“As the captain said, this match is the first step towards our goal. We’re going to go out there and enjoy it and try to get it done.”
Tennis Channel will air live daily coverage of the tie. Friday’s singles matches will air live at 2 p.m. ET, Saturday’s doubles match will air at 2 p.m. ET, and Sunday’s singles matches will air live at 12 p.m. ET.
Karen Pestaina for Tennis Panorama News