QUERREY, ISNER TO LEAD U.S.
AT DAVIS CUP VS. SERBIA
Ashley Marshall | January 23, 2018
World No. 13 Sam Querrey will lead Team USA for just the second time in his career when the U.S. travels to Serbia next week to begin its quest for 2018 Davis Cup glory.
U.S. Davis Cup Captain Jim Courier announced Querrey will be joined by world No. 16 John Isner, No. 45 Ryan Harrison and No. 48 Steve Johnson for the World Group first-round tie, to be played at the Sportski Centar Cair in Nis, Serbia, Feb. 2-4.
Tennis Channel will present daily live coverage of the tie, from 9 a.m. ET on Friday, Feb. 2 and Saturday, Feb. 3, and from 8 a.m. on Sunday, Feb. 4.
The winner of the tie will advance to the World Group quarterfinals, April 6-8, against the winner of Belgium vs. Hungary.
The losing nation will compete in a playoff, held Sept. 14-16, for the right to stay in the World Group for 2019.
Top-ranked American man Jack Sock was not named to the team.
Similarly, the Serbian team is without its three highest-ranked players, including 12-time Grand Slam men’s singles champion Novak Djokovic, who owns a combined 16-4 record against Querrey and Isner. The Serbian team is also without world No. 36 Filip Krajinovic and former world No. 12 Viktor Troicki.
Instead, Serbian Davis Cup Captain Nenad Zimonjic nominated world No. 75 Dusan Lajovic, No. 85 Laslo Djere, No. 176 Nikola Milojevic, No. 232 Pedja Krstin and No. 297 Miljan Zekic to his team.
Querrey, who made his Davis Cup debut in 2008, holds a 7-9 record in Davis Cup singles play and a 1-0 mark in doubles. He last represented the U.S. in the 2017 World Group quarterfinals against Australia in Brisbane and in the first-round contest against Switzerland in Birmingham, Ala.
The last time he was the top-ranked U.S. player at a Davis Cup tie was in the World Group quarterfinals in April 2013, which also happens to be the last time the U.S. played Serbia. At that tie, held at the Taco Bell Arena in Boise, Idaho, Querrey, then ranked No. 20 in the world, was joined by Isner and Mike and Bob Bryan on the American team.
The only other time the U.S. has faced Serbia was in the 2010 first round, which, like in 2013, was also won on the strength of two singles victories from Djokovic.
Next week’s best-of-five match series against Serbia will be played on an indoor red clay court. Play begins at 3 p.m. local time (9 a.m. ET) on Friday and Saturday and at 2 p.m. local time (8 a.m. ET) on Sunday. Tennis Channel will air each match live in the U.S.
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 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 final match between the No. 2 players. All matches are best-of-five sets until one nation clinches the tie. Sunday will feature a revised schedule if a team clinches in the third or fourth match.
Looking ahead to potential singles matchups, neither Querrey nor Isner has ever played Djere. Querrey lost his only previous match against Lajovic at the 2016 Australian Open, while Isner has won three of four career meetings against Lajovic.
Querrey is ranked a career-high No. 13 following a 2017 season in which he reached the Wimbledon semifinals and the quarterfinals of the US Open. Isner, who made his Davis Cup debut against Serbia eight years ago, will be competing in his 15th Davis Cup tie.
Rounding out the team is Harrison, who last represented the U.S. in 2012 against France, and Johnson, who will be playing in his third consecutive Davis Cup tie and fourth overall.
Additionally, 21-year-old Deiton Baughman of Carson, Calif., will serve as the team’s practice partner in Nis.