DAVIS CUP VICTORY
Ashley Marshall | September 20, 2015
The most successful nation in Davis Cup history will have a chance to play for its 33rd title next year after Jack Sock sealed the United States' 3-1 World Group Playoff win over Uzbekistan.
The U.S. now qualifies for the 2016 Davis Cup World Group and is eligible to compete for next year's Davis Cup crown. Uzbekistan will compete in Zone Group I competition in 2016. The seeds for next year’s competition will be announced Monday, Sept. 21, based on the new ITF rankings. The draw will be held two days later in Santiago, Chile.
Davis Cup rookie Sock clinched the playoff tie on the red clay of the Olympic Tennis School in Tashkent against Uzbekistan’s top player, Denis Istomin, 6-2, 2-6, 6-4, 6-4, in two hours and 29 minutes. The fourth singles match between Steve Johnson and Dustov was not played. ADVERTISEMENT
With his victory, the 23-year-old Sock, who also beat Uzbekistan’s No. 2 player Farrukh Dustov on Friday, became the first U.S. Davis Cup player since John McEnroe in 1978 to win two live singles matches in a Davis Cup singles debut.
“For a rookie to win two singles points in his debut is a very, very good effort,” U.S. Davis Cup captain Jim Courier said. “It was a great effort by all the guys. Obviously, Jack stepped up on Friday when we needed it most. We were down 1-0 and he came out and played some solid tennis and really throttled Dustov. Today, we knew it would be a tougher matchup. Closing out a tie is never easy, even for a veteran. For Jack to come through in his debut was very impressive."
Sock was one of two Davis Cup rookies on this year's squad, along with Steve Johnson, who fell to Istomin in the opening singles match but rebounded to team with veteran Sam Querrey to claim the doubles point on Saturday, putting the U.S. up, 2-1, and settting the stage for Sock's win on Sunday.
“One of the challenges here was bringing a team with very little experience," Courier said. "One of the great things as we come out of this tie now is that these guys have had a taste of Davis Cup. We have more options at our disposal, which is important for the U.S. team. We need to have as many options for surfaces as we will face. I think we are at a better spot at the end of this year than we probably were at the end of last year.”
The United States now holds a 215-69 all-time Davis Cup record and will compete in the World Group for the 35th time next year. The U.S. leads all nations with 32 titles and owns the longest uninterrupted run in the World Group, dating back to 1989.
“To get two wins and play solid matches for me gives me a lot of confidence, especially after New York and having to pull out and retire there,” said Sock, who won his first ATP World Tour singles title at the U.S. Clay Court Championships in Houston this season but was forced to retire from his second-round match at the US Open earlier this month was heat illness. “It was a low point and that was my favorite tournament of the year. It’s tough to go out that way. This will give me a lot of confidence for the rest of the year.
“Obviously going in, I knew [Istomin] may be a little tired. He had a long match with Stevie [Johnson] on Friday. He played some great tennis. I was able to come in, execute and get it done in four sets. But I am most happy about being able to represent the USA and help out as much as I can. Clinching today feels good. I just tried to stick to what I do best and I was able to come through.”
Wednesday’s live draw will be live streamed on www.daviscup.com at 6 p.m. ET.