Querrey and Djere to Kick Off Day 1 in USA vs Serbia Davis Cup Tie
(February 1, 2018) World No. 12 Sam Querrey will lead the U.S. Davis Cup Team into relatively unfamiliar territory against an unfamiliar opponent on Friday, having been drawn first against world No. 88 Laslo Djere to kick-start the United States’ World Group First Round tie vs. Serbia on indoor red clay in Nis.
Though Querrey is an eight-year Davis Cup veteran and played in both of the Americans’ ties vs. Serbia, including in the 2010 First Round in Belgrade, he has never played Djere, and no member of the U.S. team has ever played in Nis, a city of 186,000 located 150 miles southeast of the Serbian capital.
The Californian talked about his opponent on Friday: “First of all, we’ve never played here, this will be our first time. I’ve seen him play — he’s a talented player. They’re playing on a surface that they like. We’ll go over the matchup tonight and come up with a game plan. As far as playing here, I’ve played in Belgrade. I’ve played Davis Cup in Belgrade and I’ve played the tournament in Belgrade, so I’ve experienced what those fans are like. About the Nis fans, I’m presuming that’s pretty comparable. Davis Cup, the crowds are always a little rowdier, and exciting, an so all of us will be ready for that.”
Friday’s second singles match, pitts No. 18 John Isner vs. No. 84 Dusan Lajovic. The American No. 2 and Serbian No. 1 have played four times, with Isner holding a 3-1 advantage, though seven of their 11 sets played went to tiebreak.
US Captain Jim Courier talked about his country coming into the tie without ever defeating Serbia. “We’re 0-2 and we’re here to try to at least get one on the board for the U.S., so we’re looking forward to the competition,” he said. “We have a great team assembled here, and the guys have had a good week of practice, so we’re ready to go, and we’re looking forward to playing Serbia.”
The Serbian is playing without their top player 12-time major champion Novak Djokovic.
“I don’t think it’s a detriment, at all,” John Isner said. Maybe on paper, because of the rankings, we might be favored, but these guys are at home. They’re playing on a surface that they chose, so we expect a very, very tough tie, and I think we all believe that they expect a tough tie, as well. We know we have our hands full. All of their players are very capable players. We’ve played a lot of these guys before, and especially on clay. For me in particular, going up against Dusan, I’ve played him a few times — two very, very close matches — really not much has separated us, so this team is very good, in my opinion, but I also think we’re a good team as well.”
Schedule of play for the weekend:
Friday, 3 p.m. (9 a.m. ET)
Singles A: Sam Querrey (USA) vs. Laslo Djere (SRB)
Singles B: John Isner (USA) vs. Dusan Lajovic (SRB)
Saturday, 3 p.m. (9 a.m. ET)*
Doubles: Ryan Harrison/Steve Johnson (USA)
vs. Nicola Milojevic/Miljan Zekic (SRB)
Sunday, 2 p.m. (8 a.m. ET)
Singles C: Sam Querrey (USA) vs. Dusan Lajovic (SRB)
Singles D: John Isner (USA) vs. Laslo Djere (SRB)
*Team captains may substitute the doubles team up to one hour before the match.
Tennis Channel, Tennis Channel Plus to Air Four Davis Cup First-Round World Group Ties Including US vs Serbia