April 26, 2017

Sock Versus Thompson to Lead Off U.S. – Australia Davis Cup Quarterfinal Tie

Nick Kyrgios and Jack Sock

(April 6, 2017) As the United States top player, Jack Sock will lead off against Australia’s Jordan Thompson in Davis Cup World group play in Brisbane in Pat Rafter Arena on Friday, followed by Nick Kyrgios against John Isner.

This is the second year in a row that the two teams with the most Davis Cup titles are meeting in the World Group. Last year, the U.S. beat Australia in the first round. The last time they met in the final eight, Australian won 4-1 with Lleyton Hewitt, the current Australian Captain, making his Davis Cup debut and U.S. Captain Jim Courier was on the U.S. team.

“Jack’s going to be ready to go first-ball, he’ll be ready to get playing, and John will be there to back him up. It’s the same as every other draw,” said U.S. Captain Jim Courier. “We know what’s going to happen. We’re going to play.”

Jack Sock

Sock on playing Thompson: I’ve seen him play a decent amount. I know he had a great Aussie summer down here in January, had some great wins, played some great tennis. But I mean Davis Cup, you know, anything can happen. He’s going to come out playing in front of his home fans, home crowd. Like the captain said, fighting for every point, running down every ball, so I’m going to have to play very well to win, but yeah, I’m just going to go out and look to kind of play my style and hopefully get us off to a good start.

Nick Kyrgios

Fresh off reaching the semifinals of the Miami Open, No. 16 Kyrgios said: “I’m looking forward to getting back here and having some home support.” “I think anything is possible this year.”

“It’s obviously going to be pretty tough (playing Isner). We all know he’s got one of the greatest serves. I played him last year, and you know, I feel confident with that match up. But yeah, I feel comfortable playing second. I’ll be out there for some of Tommo’s match. I think it’s a good match up with him against Sock. I think he can do really good.”

 

“I’ve played him three times,” Isner said. “In my opinion in think he’s a lot more mature now. I think right now a lot of people could argue that he’s maybe playing the best tennis he’s ever played. Everyone knows what he can bring to the table, what his strengths are: his serve, his forehand, his backhand, his shot-making. He’s an incredible player, but I’ve played him three times, so I’m a little bit used to the matchup. I just know tomorrow’s going to be a very fun match, and I’m going to go out there and try to play my best.”

 

The U.S. holds a 26-20 record against the Aussies.

Lineup for the weekend:

 

Friday, 12:00 p.m. (10 p.m. ET)

Singles A:  Jack Sock (USA) vs. Jordan Thompson (AUS)

Singles B:  John Isner (USA) vs. Nick Kyrgios (AUS)

 

Saturday, 1:00 p.m. (11 p.m. ET)

Doubles:    Sam Querrey / Steve Johnson (USA) v. John Peers / Sam Groth (AUS)

 

Sunday, 12:00 p.m. (10 p.m. ET)

Singles C:   Jack Sock (USA) vs. Nick Kyrgios (AUS)

Singles D:   John Isner (USA) vs. Jordan Thompson (AUS)

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Tennis Channel to Air U.S. Versus Australia Davis Cup Quarterfinal Tie This Weekend

(April 5, 2017) -Tennis Channel will provide exclusive live coverage of the U.S. Davis Cup team’s quarterfinal competition against Australia in Brisbane, Australia, this weekend, with the first match underway Thursday, April 6, at 10 p.m. ET. The United States and Australia are the most successful nations in Davis Cup history, with a rivalry that dates back to 1905. Australia is second only to the United States on the all-time list of tournament champions, with 28 to the Americans’ 32. The United States is bidding to reach the Davis Cup semifinals for the first time since 2012. Hall of Fame Captain (and Tennis Channel analyst) Jim Courier will lead the same four top-ranked American men’s singles players – Jack Sock, John Isner, Sam Querrey and Steve Johnson – who defeated Switzerland 5-0 in the first round.

 

The meeting will consist of two singles matches on Thursday, followed by the doubles match Friday, April 7, at 11 p.m. ET. Tennis Channel’s coverage concludes with the remaining singles play Saturday, April 8, at 10 p.m. ET. Each match is worth one point, with three victories enough to secure a trip to the September semifinals to play the winner of the Belgium and Italy quarterfinal.

 

In addition to covering the United States-Australia matchup this weekend, Tennis Channel’s digital subscription service, Tennis Channel Plus, will show the three other Davis Cup quarterfinals. Beginning Friday, April 7, viewers can watch 2015 Davis Cup champion Britain play France in Rouen, France; 2015 Davis Cup finalist Belgium host Italy in Charleroi, Belgium; and Serbia take on Spain in Belgrade, Serbia. Following live coverage, all three will be available on-demand on the digital subscription service (www.tennischanneleverywhere.com), which is available to everyone in the United States regardless of whether they subscribe to Tennis Channel.  Other stars set to play Davis Cup this weekend include Serbia’s World No. 2 Novak Djokovic and Britain’s Jamie Murray.

 

Tennis Channel’s Los Angeles studio will be the central media hub for Davis Cup competition throughout the weekend, anchored by former U.S. Davis Cup player Leif Shiras (@LShirock).

 

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

Thursday, April 6:

10 p.m. – Singles USA v. Australia

 

Friday, April 7:

7 a.m. – Singles France v. Britain (Tennis Channel Plus)

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

Singles Belgium v. Italy (Tennis Channel Plus)

11 p.m. – DoublesUSA v. Australia

 

Saturday, April 8:

7 a.m. – Doubles France v. Britain (Tennis Channel Plus)

9a.m. – Doubles Serbia v. Spain (Tennis Channel Plus)

Doubles Belgium v. Italy (Tennis Channel Plus)

10 p.m. – Singles USA v. Australia

 

Sunday, April 9:

6:30 a.m. – Singles France v. Britain (Tennis Channel Plus)

7 a.m. – Singles Serbia v. Spain (Tennis Channel Plus)

8:30 a.m. – Singles Belgium v. Italy (Tennis Channel Plus)

 

The United States and Australia have faced each other more times than any other countries in Davis Cup history, with a 26-20 U.S. advantage. The rivalry dates back to 1905, when the United States defeated Australasia, a combined team from New Zealand and Australia, 5-0 in London. Their most recent meeting came during last year’s Davis Cup first round, when the Americans beat the Australians3-1 in Melbourne, Australia. The American squad is bidding to win its first Davis Cup crown since 2007 and leads all nations with 32 Davis Cup titles.

 

Leading the U.S. team is Courier who,as a player, was on the 1999 team that lost to Australia in Chestnut Hill, Mass. That Australian team featured now retired star and current Davis Cup Captain Lleyton Hewitt. Sock, the top-ranked American player, leads the U.S. Davis Cup team into this weekend after an impressive semifinal appearance at the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, Calif., last month before falling to eventual champion Roger Federer. Isner holds 10 career singles titles and four doubles titles, including two with Querrey (Memphis in 2010 and Rome in 2011) and one with Sock (Shanghai in 2016). Querrey won his ninth title at the Mexican Open in Acapulco, Mexico, last month after defeating former World No. 1 Rafael Nadal in the final to become the first American champion in the event’s history. Last year, Johnson captured his first ATP singles title at the Nottingham Open in England, and started the year by reaching the semifinals at the ASB Classic in Auckland, New Zeeland.

 

Australia enters this weekend’s match after defeating the Czech Republic 4-1 in the first round. The Australians hold 28 titles and are second on the all-time list of Davis Cup champions, behind only the United States. Hewitt will lead Nick Kyrgios, Jordan Thompson, Sam Groth and John Peers into battle this weekend.

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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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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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April 17 Fed Cup Results

fed cup colours

(April 17, 2016) The final results for the 2016 Fed Cup by BNP Paribas World Group semifinals, and World Group and World Group II play-offs taking place on 16-17 April.

France will host Czech Republic in the Fed Cup Final on 12-13 November. In the semifinals, France defeated Netherlands 3-2 in Trelaze, while Czech Republic overcame Switzerland by the same scoreline in Lucerne.

Belarus, Germany, Spain and USA all won their World Group play-offs and will join Czech Republic, France, Netherlands and Switzerland in the 2017 World Group.

Belgium, Chinese Taipei, Slovakia and Ukraine all won their World Group II play-offs, and will join the four World Group play-off losing nations, Australia, Italy, Romania and Russia, in 2017 World Group II. The four World Group II play-off losing nations, Argentina, Canada, Poland and Serbia, will contest their respective Zone Group I events in 2017.

The draw for the 2017 Fed Cup by BNP Paribas will be held at the ITF AGM in Zagreb, Croatia on Monday 20 June. The top two seeds in the 2017 World Group will be the 2016 finalists, while the remaining seeds will be based on the ITF Fed Cup Nations Ranking of 18 April.

WORLD GROUP SEMIFINALS

 

CZECH REPUBLIC defeated SWITZERLAND 3-2

Venue: Messe Luzern, Lucerne, SUI (hard – indoor)

Barbora Strycova (CZE) d. Timea Bacsinszky (SUI) 60 62

Viktorija Golubic (SUI) d. Karolina Pliskova (CZE) 36 64 64

Karolina Pliskova (CZE) d. Timea Bacsinszky (SUI) 64 62

Viktorija Golubic (SUI) d. Barbora Strycova (CZE) 36 76(6) 61

Lucie Hradecka/Karolina Pliskova (CZE) d. Viktorija Golubic/Martina Hingis (SUI) 62 62

FRANCE defeated NETHERLANDS 3-2

Venue: Arena Loire, Trélazé, FRA (clay – indoor)

 

Kiki Bertens (NED) d. Caroline Garcia (FRA) 64 62

Kristina Mladenovic (FRA) d. Richel Hogenkamp (NED) 62 64

Kiki Bertens (NED) d. Kristina Mladenovic (FRA) 75 64

Caroline Garcia (FRA) d. Arantxa Rus (NED) 63 64

Caroline Garcia/Kristina Mladenovic (FRA) d. Kiki Bertens/Richel Hogenkamp (NED) 46 63 63

WORLD GROUP PLAY-OFFS

 

BELARUS defeated RUSSIA 3-2

Venue: Small Sports Arena “Luzhniki”, Moscow, RUS (clay – indoor)

 

Darya Kasatkina (RUS) d. Aliaksandra Sasnovich (BLR) 63 36 61

Victoria Azarenka (BLR) d. Margarita Gasparyan (RUS) 62 63

Victoria Azarenka (BLR) d. Darya Kasatkina (RUS) 62 57 63

Aliaksandra Sasnovich (BLR) d. Margarita Gasparyan (RUS) 46 61 75

Darya Kasatkina/Elena Vesnina (RUS) d. Olga Govortsova/Aryna Sabalenka (BLR) 64 62

 

SPAIN defeated ITALY 4-0

Venue: Club de Tennis Lleida, Lleida, ESP (clay – outdoor)

 

Garbine Muguruza (ESP) d. Francesca Schiavone (ITA) 76(4) 60

Carla Suarez Navarro (ESP) d. Roberta Vinci (ITA) 61 61

Garbine Muguruza (ESP) d. Roberta Vinci (ITA) 62 62

Carla Suarez Navarro (ESP) v Francesca Schiavone (ITA) – not played

Anabel Medina Garrigues/Sara Sorribes Tormo (ESP) d. Karin Knapp/Francesca Schiavone (ITA) 11  ret.

 

GERMANY defeated ROMANIA 4-1

Venue: Sala Polivalenta Cluj-Napoca, Cluj-Napoca, ROU (clay – indoor)

 

Angelique Kerber (GER) d. Irina-Camelia Begu (ROU) 62 63

Simona Halep (ROU) d. Andrea Petkovic (GER) 64 67(5) 64

Angelique Kerber (GER) d. Simona Halep (ROU) 62 62

Andrea Petkovic (GER) d. Monica Niculescu (ROU) 06 76(1) 63

Annika Beck/Julia Goerges (GER) d. Irina-Camelia Begu/Alexandra Dulgheru (ROU) 67(5) 76(4) [10-7]

 

USA defeated AUSTRALIA 4-0

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

 

Madison Keys (USA) d. Daria Gavrilova (AUS) 64 62

Christina McHale (USA) d. Samantha Stosur (AUS) 36 61 75

Coco Vandeweghe (USA) d. Samantha Stosur (AUS) 26 75 64

Daria Gavrilova (AUS) v Christina McHale (USA) – not played

Bethanie Mattek-Sands/Coco Vandeweghe (USA) d. Daria Gavrilova/Arina Rodionova (AUS) 61 64

WORLD GROUP II PLAY-OFFS

 

BELGIUM defeated SERBIA 3-2

Venue: Aleksandar Nikolic Arena (Pionir Hall), Belgrade, SRB (clay – indoor)

 

Aleksandra Krunic (SRB) d. Kirsten Flipkens (BEL) 64 76(8)

Yanina Wickmayer (BEL) d. Jovana Jaksic (SRB) 75 60

Yanina Wickmayer (BEL) d. Aleksandra Krunic (SRB) 16 75 86

Kirsten Flipkens (BEL) d. Ivana Jorovic (SRB) 76(8) 64

Jovana Jaksic/Nina Stojanovic (SRB) d. Ysaline Bonaventure/An-Sophie Mestach (BEL) 46 60 [10-5]

 

SLOVAKIA defeated CANADA 3-2

Venue: AEGON Arena, Bratislava, SVK (clay – indoor)

 

Dominika Cibulkova (SVK) d. Francoise Abanda (CAN) 46 63 61

Anna Karolina Schmiedlova (SVK) d. Aleksandra Wozniak (CAN) 64 46 64

Francoise Abanda (CAN) d. Jana Cepelova (SVK) 75 62

Dominika Cibulkova (SVK) d. Aleksandra Wozniak (CAN) 62 60

Sharon Fichman/Charlotte Robillard-Millette (CAN) d. Jana Cepelova/Tereza Mihalikova (SVK) 63 06 [10-8]

 

CHINESE TAIPEI defeated POLAND 4-1

Venue: OSiR Hala Widowiskowo-Sportowa, Inowroclaw, POL (hard – indoor)

 

Hsu Ching-Wen (TPE) d. Paula Kania (POL) 63 64

Magdalena Frech (POL) d. Lee Ya-Hsuan (TPE) 46 60 62

Lee Ya-Hsuan (TPE) d. Paula Kania (POL) 26 63 97

Hsu Ching-Wen (TPE) d. Magdalena Frech (POL) 62 46 63

Chan Chin-Wei/Chuang Chia-Jung (TPE) d. Klaudia Jans-Ignacik/Katarzyna Kawa (POL) 62 76(1)

 

UKRAINE defeated ARGENTINA 4-0

Venue: Campa Tennis Club, Bucha, Kiev, UKR (hard – outdoor)

Kateryna Bondarenko (UKR) d. Maria Irigoyen (ARG) 61 61

Lesia Tsurenko (UKR) d. Nadia Podoroska (ARG) 61 64

Lesia Tsurenko (UKR) d. Maria Irigoyen (ARG) 60 63

Kateryna Bondaren

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Fed Cup: U.S. defeats Australia 4-0 to Advance to World Group in 2017

usfedcup2

(April 17, 2016) The U.S. now moves back to competing in the World Group next year by beating Australia, 4-0, in the Fed Cup by BNP Paribas World Group Playoff on an outdoor clay court in Pat Rafter Arena at the Queensland Tennis Centre in Brisbane, Australia.

In the first match of the day, world No. 36 CoCo Vandeweghe came from a set down to beat world No. 26 Samantha Stosur, 26, 75, 64, in two hours and 18 minutes to clinch the victory for the United States. The win was also the first in her Fed Cup singles career for Vandeweghe who now moves to 1-3. Vandeweghe also moved her lifetime record to 4-1 against Stosur.   The U.S. team is now 3-1 when Coco takes the court.  The Christina McHale-Daria Gavrilova match was not played.

“Well, I mean Sam’s a phenomenal player and I actually really enjoy playing against her because she is that phenomenal player,” said Vandeweghe.  “This is the first time we ever played on clay, so I mean, all the other surfaces were quicker, hardcourts or grass.  So I knew this would be more well suited for her game, she’d be more comfortable than I would be.  But you know, I still stuck to my game plan of trying to implement my game to her before she could definitely get me off balance and that’s pretty much what I try to do against her most of the time when we play.”

 

“Well that was the first Fed Cup singles win that I’ve ever had,” she said.  “The first time I ever played was in a final and I really didn’t rise to the occasion too well, I was – I think I was like 18 or something the first time I played and, you know, that was really disappointing for me as a player and also as a player representing the United States.  So, I mean I think it’s such a privilege to play for the United States and I think it’s always been my No.1 goal to play for my country and to make the Olympic team eventually more so than Grand Slams and stuff like that.  It was just the way I was raised.

 

In the dead doubles rubber, Bethanie Mattek-Sands and CoCo Vandeweghe faced Daria Gavrilova and Arina Rodionova.  Daria and Arina were substituted for Casey Dellacqua and Samantha Stosur.  In the end, Mattek-Sands and Vandeweghe won the match, 61, 64, in one hour and 17 minutes.  With the victory Mattek-Sands and Vandeweghe remain undefeated as a doubles team.  In Fed Cup, Mattek-Sands moved her doubles record to 5-0 record while Vandeweghe moved to 3-0.

 

“No the whole team is MVP, they all did their part, they all contributed,” said United Stated Fed Cup captain Mary Joe Fernandez.  “I always say the first match kind of gives you the momentum, I always say the first match is critical.  So Madison got us off to such a great start.  Hooray. And then Christina picked it up and played really, really well and fought so hard towards the end of the match, and then Coco today came back, a set and 2-love down, and you know, fought as well.  So it was an amazing effort to turn that match around and the doubles went great too.  So I couldn’t be more proud of each and every one of them.”

The U.S. remains undefeated at 22-0 when leading after the first day of play (since the World Group format was instituted in 1995). The U.S. also improves to 10-12 all-time in Fed Cup ties played on the road, and holds an overall 146-36 record.  The victory also moves the Fed Cup teams record to 11-3 in matches played in Australia/New Zealand.

With the victory, the U.S. advances to the World Group in 2017. The 2017 Fed Cup draw will be made in mid-November after the World Group Finals.

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Davis Cup: Deadlocked Down Under, USA and Australia Tied at 1-1

 

DAVIS CUP: DEADLOCKED DOWN UNDER

U.S., Australia tied at 1-1 in World Group First Round

 

By Junior Williams

(March 4, 2016) MELBOURNE, Australia – On a sizzling hot afternoon which saw temperatures surge close to 100 degrees Fahrenheit, Bernard Tomic defeated Jack Sock 7-6(2), 6-3, 3-6, 6-4, to bring Australia even with the United States at 1-1 in their Davis Cup World Group First Round tie at Kooyong Lawn Tennis Club.

Tomic’s victory came after American John Isner dispatched Sam Groth 7-6(2), 6-2, 6-2 to give the U.S. an early lead.

It was a tight but impressive first set for Tomic, who won all 22 of his first serve points. His ball striking and defense of Sock’s ground strokes also gave the Australian the edge.

The world’s 20th-ranked player continued his momentum in the second set, securing it by breaking Sock with a shot that handcuffed the American on what was the fifth set point.

Sock bounced back in the third set, breaking Tomic for the first time in the match after the Australian mishit a ball past the baseline. The world number 24 also broke Tomic in the final game of the set.

But Tomic — who was 0-3 head-to-head against Sock prior to this match — took control in the fourth set, going up 5-4 winning a break point after rocketing a deep return of serve that Sock hit into the net.

Tomic closed out the 2 hour 24-minute match in the following game, to the delight of the home crowd. He won 120 points to Sock’s 114.

“It was very tough out there,” Tomic said. “I haven’t beaten Sock before so I knew that it was going to be tough. Anyone that you haven’t beaten before in your career – I think he’s on 2 or 3-0 record against me. So, for me I knew it was going to be tough but also playing him on a surface where I could beat him on and I was very happy because the conditions were very tough because I travelled so quickly here and you have to reset and you only have two or three days. So for me it was very tough out there.”

The top Australian admitted that it was difficult to get through the fourth set: “It was very tough because I had chances to be up a break in the third and then he got that break and it became a little bit hotter and after playing those first two sets everything got to me. So I had to find a bit of that energy and sometimes that’s good, I mean, I lapse away with my concentration a lot and that, to me, is a good thing because you rebuild your energy and it worked out in my favour in that fourth set. Gee, can you listen to that rain? I swear I finished and three minutes later it started.”

“Bernie did really well,” said Australian Davis Cup Captain Lleyton Hewitt. “Right from the start he came out serving great, hitting his spots really well. That was obviously a key to not let Jack get into too many of Bernie’s service games and we felt like Bernie’s going to get a lot more into his and put a lot more pressure on his second serve and he was able to do that. Bernie, the first set was a huge key as well and he played a great tie break, he picked the right side on a couple of shots and came up with a couple big passes and to have that first set, you know, it was hot out there as well especially those first couple of sets and once he went two sets to love up, he had a little lull there, which, you know, it happens in any five set matches. It’s about how you respond to that and he found a way in the fourth set. It’s not an easy thing to do to come out when you’re the number one player for your country and you’re one love down in Davis Cup in a World Group match. Bernie did fantastic today and he’s done absolutely everything that we’ve asked of him all week.”

“Bernie played some good tennis today when he needed to and came up with some good shots and, I’ll just take away you know the things I need to work on from that and take it into Sunday,” Sock said in press.

“Well we were put on grass, that’s the biggest difference I would say. I’ve played him on some slow hardcourts and some other hardcourts where you know my style definitely matches up well against and you know, his favourite surface is grass. His best results, you know, in the Slam are on grass and very crafty out there and his game is suitable for it. But, you know, I was in there and I felt confident after getting that third and then having a few chances early in the fourth, definitely felt like I was right. So, you know, for me my least experience has been on grass, so for me it actually did take away some confidence today playing out there against an experienced grass player and I’ll definitely use that for Sunday.”

In the opening match — a battle of high-powered servers — John Isner hit 20 aces and held serve throughout the match, despite six break point opportunities for Sam Groth, who was tapped to play singles for Australia after Nick Kyrgios pulled out of the competition due to illness.

The first set included a lot of what you’d expect, with eleven aces for Groth and ten for Isner. Groth also sprinkled in some doubles skills, winning four out of six net points. But Isner won a first set tiebreak, helped by a successful challenge that gave him a mini-break, and an ace up the middle to capture the set.

After that it was all Isner. Aside from his service game, the world No. 11 consistently cracked forehand and backhand winners up the sidelines. He also was helped by Groth’s first-serve percentage of 48-percent in the second set. The Georgia Bulldog notched his victory in 1 hour 49 minutes.

“It was a lot of confidence, you know, getting through that first set, I mean, I knew I was going to go out there, I knew I wasn’t going to be feeling fantastic right away,” Isner said. “Of course there’s a lot of nerves and you know, I haven’t seen his serve yet. So I got rid of those nerves in the first set and I got used to seeing the serve out there, so I became a lot more comfortable after that first set and I think it showed right away. I believe I broke the first game of the second set.

“So it was a very, very good performance for me and certainly I’ve played some matches in a lot in my career where I’ve struggled on return but I think today I was pretty solid.”

Isner commented on the court conditions with temperatures close to 100 degrees Fahrenheit. “Yeah I thought the court was great, he said. “The heat was pretty hot. It was more humid than I’ve ever played in Melbourne it’s generally dryer in my opinion, but it was pretty humid. At the same time in a match up like that, you tell me how many rallies we had more than five shots, so it could have been 200 degrees out there and I probably would have felt all right.”

“I think the first set was always going to be big, especially in the way we both play, we both play with a little bit of confidence, both play behind our serve and especially on a day where it’s quite hot out there as well,” Groth said. “You know, had I maybe taken a chance, that 0-40 game earlier, maybe it’s a different story but I felt like after that when he won that back-hand winner that clipped the line in the tie breaker and then his confidence just seemed to build. He started taking cuts on returns and, you know, to his credit they started going in.”

The tie now moves to doubles Saturday. Future Hall of Famers Bob and Mike Bryan are slated for the U.S., with Groth and doubles specialist John Peers scheduled to go for Australia.

But the watch is on to see if captain Lleyton Hewitt will put himself in the mix for the green and gold.

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 US home ties. He is in Melbourne covering the Davis Cup first round World Group tie between the United States and Australia.

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Lleyton Hewitt on Standby as a Playing Captain to Replace an Ill Nick Kyrgios in Davis Cup Tie

(March 3, 2016) MELBOURNE, Australia – Lleyton Hewitt, who just retired from professional tennis at his home country’s major in January looks as though his career will continue. Hewitt, the 35-year-old former No. 1, who is making his debut as Australia’s Davis Cup Captain, will be a playing captain due to Nick Kyrgios who has been ill with a virus and can’t participate. Hewitt is officially on standby to play the tie against the United States in the first round of the Davis Cup World Group this weekend to be played at the Kooyong Lawn Tennis Club.

Hewitt is Australia’s most accomplished Davis Cup player winning 58 of the 78 singles and doubles matches in his career.

“We took him (Nick Kyrgios) through his paces this morning and gave him a little fitness test to see how he pulled up from yesterday, but he just wasn’t fit enough to play this weekend,” Hewitt said. “It’s bad timing for us but it was really out of our hands and the end.”
“The illness is a kind of an unknown a little bit. You just don’t know,” Hewitt said “But obviously before nine o’clock this morning we had to make the best possible decision for the team, and we were dealing with Nick on everything. He wanted to put his hand up and certainly didn’t want to let the team down, and that’s why it was a tough decision for everyone involved.”

The draw for the tie took place in Kooyong on Thursday where Bernard Tomic, Sam Groth and John Peers were officially named to team Australia. Friday will see No. 1 U.S. player John Isner play Groth, followed by Australia’s top player Tomic face Jack Sock. Doubles day on Saturday as the Bryan Brothers are scheduled to play John Peers and Sam Groth. Sundya will be reverse singles – Isner versus Tomic and Groth against Sock.

U.S. Davis Cup Captain Jim Courier said he was not shocked to see Hewitt change the team.

“I wouldn’t say we are surprised given that we saw Lleyton practicing this week and Nick’s pretty conspicuous absence,” he said. “It is certainly not something coming to Australia that we were anticipating though. Nick is a very tough player who is on a high now with his results. However, Sam is a very capable grass court player and we won’t take him lightly for one second.

“I am sure that Lleyton will do whatever is best for his team. That’s his role. He is very aware of doing whatever is required to give him the best chance to win. He knows how everyone is feeling with health and length of matches. There are all types of combinations that could bring him to the court. That will be his call and we will be prepared.”

Jack Sock says he’s ready to take on friend Tomic on Friday. “It is going to be a very competitive and fiery match. He has had great results in Davis Cup and this is just my second tie, but we also played each other a few times in the past. It is a different scenario in Davis Cup, but I think the matches in the past will help me with my confidence and how to go about the match. We have always had some close matches and it comes down to a few points here or there. He is definitely playing some great tennis right now with some good results this year.”

Australia and the United States will be meeting for the 46th time. The U.S. team leads 25-20, last competing against the Aussies in the 1999 quarterfinals, when Australia won and went on take the Davis Cup title. The U.S. and Australia are the two leading nations with the most Davis Cup titles, 32 and 28 respectively.

Weekend Line-up

DAY/LOCAL MATCH TIME                  EVENT                    DETAILS/PAIRING

Friday, 11:00 a.m.                                   Singles A:                John Isner (USA) vs. Sam Groth (AUS)

Singles B:                Jack Sock (USA) vs. Bernard Tomic (AUS)

Saturday, 12:00 p.m.                               Doubles:                  Bob Bryan/Mike Bryan (USA) vs. Sam Groth/John Peers (AUS)

Sunday, 11:00 a.m.                                 Singles C:                John Isner (USA) vs. Bernard Tomic (AUS)

Singles D:                Jack Sock (USA) vs. Sam Groth (AUS)

 

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Australia Takes On U. S. in Davis Cup This Weekend in Kooyong

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Australia Takes On U. S. in Davis Cup This Weekend in Kooyong

U. S. Davis Cup Captain Jim Courier

U. S. Davis Cup Captain Jim Courier

(March 1, 2016) The United States will take on Australia in the Davis Cup World Group First Round this weekend at the Kooyong Lawn Tennis Club in Kooyong, Australia, from March 4-6 on a temporary grass court. The club was the former home to the Australian Open from 1972- 1987. The U.S. has met Australia more times than any other nation in Davis Cup play. The U.S. leads the head-to-head series 25-20.

Former world No. 1 Lleyton Hewitt, who retired at this year’s Australian Open will be making his debut as Australia’s Davis Cup captain. Hewitt has named world No. 20 Bernard Tomic, world No. 27 Nick Kyrgios, world No. 77 Sam Groth, and doubles specialist John Peers to team Australia.

Tomic holds a 15-3 singles record in Davis Cup competition, Kyrgios is 3-3 and Groth is 2-1 in singles and 1-2 in doubles. Peers is making his Davis Cup debut.

United States Davis Cup Captain Jim Courier has chosen top-ranked American and world No. 11 John Isner, world No. 24 Jack Sock, and 16-time major doubles champions Bob Bryan and Mike Bryan to the U.S. Davis Cup Team. Isner is 8-9 singles in Davis Cup competition. Sock made his debut on the U.S. team last year in the World Group Playoff, where he won both of his singles matches, becoming the first American since John McEnroe in 1978 to win two live rubbers in a Davis Cup debut. Bob and Mike Bryan are a dominant 23-4 in Davis Cup doubles together and are the all-time winningest U.S. Davis Cup doubles team in history.

Both teams held a pre-draw news conference on Tuesday, the draw will be made on Thursday.

Kyrgios was absent from the news conference due to a virus said Captain Hewitt who told him to rest: “Nick has a virus. At the moment, he is taking it easy and trying to get over that 100% to be ready to go. I didn’t want him around the other boys if he is a bit infectious. It is more of a precaution. He will be ready.

“Nick has played a lot of matches, as well as Bernie. They are coming in confident with their ball striking and it is about these guys doing the small things to feel comfortable on the grass courts. Come match day, I am backing both of these boys.”

 

“I am lucky with both of these guys (Kyrgios and Tomic),” Hewitt said. “Both of their games suit grass with big serves and good returns. The reason both boys are approaching career-high rankings right now is because of their serves. That will be a big point this weekend because the U.S. team serves well, too. It will come down to a few points here or there, just like any grass-court five-set match, but I am glad our boys have won quite a few matches in the last month.”

Tomic is back from just having played the final of Acapulco over the weekend.

“It was tough to play a final then fly here,” Tomic admitted. It was tough to get here, but I am happy to be here. The hit today was good and now on grass, I need to get as ready as I can.

“It is tough to say if I will be 100% by Friday, but there will not be a lot of rallies. There will be quick points. I am serving really well and playing very confidently. I just played one of my biggest tournaments and I am very happy with the way I am playing and will be ready for the show on Friday”

On making the transition to being a captain from a player, Hewitt said: “I have adjusted pretty smoothly. This week has been all about getting these boys on the practice courts and working out drills. It has been good this week, especially with doubles, and learning what times to say something and other times not to say so much. I have been a good hitting partner.”

U.S. Captain Courier reacted to Hewitt’s comments about Australia being the underdog: “It doesn’t matter one bit. We are the away team and we travelled to get here. The crowd will be behind them. We are here to play whether it is as an underdog or overdog. None of that matters, which I wish it did. We have to go to battle and play.

“We have to get through the first tie, but our draw is more favorable this year than it has been,” said Courier in discussing the outlook for the U. S. in Davis Cup competition this year. “Second round matchups are not easy, but it is easier than some other teams for us. But, you cannot look past anyone in Davis Cup and we have learned that the hard way. You have to put one foot in front of the other and this will be a tough tie for us.”

“Jack (Sock) had a great debut as a Davis Cup player in Uzbekistan last year and that is big part of why he is here. We have a lot of confidence in what he brings to the table and he is getting valuable experience here. We have some younger players that have had good success in the juniors that is translating to the pros. It is nice to feel that energy coming up below our best players.”

“Every point is huge,” said Isner. “I have been playing Davis Cup for quite a bit, but not nearly as long as the Bryans. Jack is a bit newer at this. There is certainly pressure on every player that is competing this weekend and we know that. I don’t think there is any extra pressure on me by any means.

I am preparing for the team that has been submitted. It can change come Thursday, but as of right now, I am prepared for all of them.”

Sock discussed the challenge of taking on Tomic and Kygios this weekend.

On facing Bernard Tomic, Sock said: “We are good friends. We have spent some time together in our careers. However, in any setting on the court, we go out there and you put that aside and compete. Afterwards, you are still pretty good friends, but when it is on the court, that doesn’t really enter your mind.

He has always been a good player. He is consistently staying more professional and working on the things he needs to do and that is why his results are showing.”

As for Kyrgios: “Similar to Bernie, I am friends with Nick, but when you step on the court, it is about the tennis and playing each other.

“When you are off the court, you can still be friends. When you are out there playing, that is the only thing that matters—especially this weekend when you are representing your country. It gives me all the more reason to go out there and compete as hard as I can.”

The winner of this tie moves into the World Group Quarterfinal, July 15-17, and will play either Croatia or Belgium. The tie will air on Tennis Channel in the United States.

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