USA beats Italy
at Davis Cup
Pat Mitsch | November 21, 2019
Even though this first year of the new Davis Cup Finals won’t ultimately feature the United States as a champion, the Americans’ final tie of 2019 had everything to remind observers near and far of the spectacle of Davis Cup competition.
A near-record late finish, 4:04 a.m. in Madrid is when Sam Querrey and Jack Sock finally defeated Fabio Fognini and Simone Bolelli 6-7, 7-6, 6-4, punctuated a tie between the U.S. and Italy that spanned nearly eight hours in total over Wednesday night and Thursday morning and ended in a 2-1 U.S. victory.
Somewhere along the way, though, the U.S. was eliminated from quarterfinal contention, leaving the doubles match to matter in the record books, where it’ll go down as the second-latest finishing tennis match of all-time, after a 4:34 a.m. finish between Lleyton Hewitt and Marcos Baghdatis at the 2008 Australian Open, and in the hearts and memories of the U.S. ADVERTISEMENT bench.
In reality, the Americans’ chances at advancing to the quarterfinal stage in Madrid ended when they could not equal Argentina in percentage of sets won in their Group matches. The U.S., which lost to Canada, 2-1, on Tuesday, was competing for one of the quarterfinal spots available to second-place Group teams, but was eliminated via tiebreakers by the time Querrey and Sock (pictured above) took the court.
Still, the two Davis Cup veterans matched the energy their rookie counterparts put forth earlier in the night. Opelka took 12th-ranked Fabio Fognini to three sets before falling in the opener, 6-4, 6-7,, 6-3, then Taylor Fritz scored an inspired upset of world No. 8 Matteo Berrettini, 5-7, 7-6, 6-2.
The United States’ Davis Cup itinerary for next year will be decided this weekend in Madrid. The U.S. can earn direct entry into the 2020 Madrid Finals by being selected as one of two wild card nations, or if the U.S. is not selected, it will be one of the 24 nations to play a 2020 Qualifier tie in the home-away format March 6-7. The draw to determine the qualifying matchups will take place at noon local time (6 a.m. ET) on Sunday in Madrid.