U.S. Names Davis Cup
Team To Take on Australia
Ashley Marshall | March 28, 2017
It’s been almost 10 years since the U.S. Davis Cup team won the last of its record 32 titles, but the tide is changing stateside. With a core of elite talent and a pipeline of NextGen stars waiting to make an impact on the world stage, the American team is primed to make another run at the Davis Cup crown.
That challenge will be reignited again next week when a quartet of Top 30-ranked U.S. men travel to Australia to take on a familiar foe in the World Group quarterfinals.
Team USA captain Jim Courier has named world No. 17 Jack Sock, No. 23 John Isner, No. 27 Sam Querrey and No. 28 Steve Johnson to face the Aussies at Pat Rafter Arena in Brisbane, April 7-9, will a spot in the 2017 Davis Cup final four on the line.
This marks the third time in the past six years under Courier’s captaincy that the U. ADVERTISEMENT S. has fielded an unchanged four-man lineup from the previous tie, with that same group having led the U.S. past Switzerland, 5-0, in the first round in February.
Australian Davis Cup captain Lleyton Hewitt nominated No. 16 Nick Kyrgios, No. 79 Jordan Thompson, No. 188 Sam Groth, and third-ranked doubles specialist John Peers to his team. Australia advanced to the quarterfinals with a 4-1 victory over the Czech Republic in Round 1.
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 winning nation will play either Belgium or Italy in the semis.
This is the second consecutive year the U.S. has traveled to Australia to contest a Davis Cup tie. 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 against the Aussies in a rivalry that dates back to 1905. The U.S. won the 2016 meeting, 3-1, in Kooyong, Australia, in the 2016 World Group first round.
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., then reaching the semifinals of the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, Calif. He’ll be joined by Davis Cup veteran John Isner, 31, who is competing in his 14th tie for his country, and by Querrey, 29, who is ranked No. 27. Querrey recently won his ninth career ATP title in Acapulco a month ago, defeating four straight Top 20 players to win the title. Rounding out the quartet is Johnson, 27, who is ranked No. 28 in the world, having reached three straight ATP quarterfinals after making the semifinals in Auckland to begin the season.
The U.S. has five players ranked inside the Top 50 – Ryan Harrison is No. 47, with Donald Young just missing the cutoff at world No. 51 – with six of the seven Top 100-ranked Americans under 30 years of age. In addition, 20-year-old Jared Donaldson – ranked 95th – is the third-youngest player inside the Top 100, behind only 19-year-old Alexander Zverev and 20-year-old Borna Coric. A further 14 Americans are ranked between Nos. 101 and 200.