U.S. DAVIS CUP
SEMIFINAL TEAM NAMED
Ashley Marshall | September 4, 2018
Looking for its first Davis Cup final appearance since 2007, Team USA will bring a mixture of experience and youth when it travels to face Croatia later this month.
U.S. Davis Cup captain Jim Courier announced Tuesday morning that Jack Sock, Sam Querrey (pictured above), Steve Johnson, Mike Bryan and Frances Tiafoe will suit up for the red, white and blue against the Marin Cilic-led Croatians on the outdoor red clay of Zadar on Sept. 14-16.
The winner of this tie advances to the World Group final, where it will face the winner of France vs. Spain, Nov. 23-25. The U.S. would host either nation in the final, which would be the last under this current World Group format.
Bryan returns to Davis Cup competition and without brother Bob, who is recovering from hip surgery. The brothers had previously announced their retirement from Davis Cup play following Team USA’s last meeting with Croatia in the 2016 World Group quarterfinals in Portland, Ore.
Meanwhile, 20-year-old Frances Tiafoe is nominated to his first U.S. ADVERTISEMENT Davis Cup team for the tie against Croatia, the only nation against whom Team USA has a winless record.
Davis Cup regular John Isner, the top-ranked American player in the ATP rankings, will miss the tie, as his wife Madison McKinley is due to give brth to the couple's first child, a baby girl, on Sept. 22.
Croatian captain Zeljko Krajan nominated Cilic, Borna Coric, Franko Skugor, Ivan Dodig and Mate Pavic to his semifinal team.
Play begins with Friday’s first two singles matches at 11 a.m. local time (5 a.m. ET) on Sept. 14. Saturday’s doubles match is scheduled for 2 p.m. local time (8 a.m. ET) on Sept. 15, while Sunday’s final two singles matches, if necessary, are scheduled for 11 a.m. local time (5 a.m. ET). Tennis Channel will provide live daily coverage in the U.S.
Sunday will feature a revised schedule if a team clinches in the third or fourth match. All matches are best-of-five sets until one nation clinches the tie.
The U.S. advanced to the semifinals by defeating Serbia, 3-1, on the road in February’s first round and by beating Belgium, 4-0, in Nashville in April’s quarterfinals. Querrey helped lead the U.S. to victory in both ties, with live singles victories in each round. Johnson was a part of the clinching doubles team in Serbia and recently reached his third ATP singles final of 2018 at the US Open Series’ Winston-Salem Open last month.
Sock helped clinch the Belgium victory in doubles. Since then, he and Mike Bryan have teamed up to immediate success, winning the Wimbledon doubles title and reaching the US Open quarterfinals. Mike is the U.S. Davis Cup team’s all-time winningest doubles player but hasn’t played Davis Cup since he and Bob announced their retirement from the team competition two years ago.
The Bryan brothers were 24-5 together in Davis Cup doubles. Mike is 26-5, having picked up two additional wins alongside Mardy Fish (2008 semifinals vs. Spain, 2012 first round vs. Switzerland).
The 20-year-old Tiafoe is nominated to his first Davis Cup squad. He is the youngest player nominated to a U.S. Davis Cup team since Ryan Harrison, who was nominated as a 17-year-old in 2010 and made his playing debut in 2012 at 19. Only Harrison and Andy Roddick (18 in 2001) were younger at the time of their first nominations in the last 20 years.
Former USTA Boys’ 18s national champion Patrick Kypson and Ulises Blanch will be traveling with the team as practice partners.
Croatia holds a 4-0 record over the U.S. in Davis Cup competition and is the only country that the U.S. hasn’t beaten in Davis Cup. The two countries last faced off in the 2016 World Group quarterfinal in Portland, Ore., with Croatia winning the tie, 3-2, after trailing 0-2 following the first day of play. The two nations also met in 2003 in Zagreb, in 2005 in Los Angeles and in 2009 in Porec.
Davis Cup is in the final year of its current World Group format before it implements its newly approved ‘World Cup of Tennis’ format in 2019.