— US Davis Cup Team (@USDavisCupTeam) July 12, 2016
(July 12, 2016) The United States plays host to Croatia in Beaverton, Oregon at the Tualatin Hills Tennis Center, July 15-17, on an outdoor hard court in the quarterfinal round of the World Group in Davis Cup. Tuesday saw both teams have pre-draw news conferences.
U.S. Captain Jim Courier, John Isner, Jack Sock, Mike Bryan and Bob Bryan took questions from the media about the Davis Cup tie. Here are a few of the highlights from the news conference:
On the short turnaround from Wimbledon:
JACK SOCK: Yeah, I mean, obviously we were all in
London for a while, even playing warmup tournaments,
some of the guys.
We were all excited to get back in the States for sure.
Our favorite time of the year is to play in front of the
home crowd here in the States.
Especially for me, it’s my first home tie. I played two
ties kind of far away. For me, it will be nice to play in
front of a home crowd and be on a team with all these
guys. I think we’re all looking forward to it.
Asked if the team could change the trend of not having a Top 10 player and still winning the Cup.
CAPTAIN COURIER: Well, I think Davis Cup is also
pretty unique in that the home-field advantage can play
a big role. We’ve played a lot of tough teams, some
home, but a lot on the road as well.
For us to have a chance now to play here against a
tough team in Croatia, and should we get through this
weekend, which we obviously are here to do, and hope
to, we’d have a home match against France or the
You pay your dues in Davis Cup. You go on the road
and try and get your wins, but you also earn the
chance to play at home by playing those matches, too.
Draws matter. Team chemistry and makeup matters.
We have four guys here that love to play for their
country. I have a lot of confidence in them as the
captain, which is why we’re sitting here. I believe we
can win this Davis Cup.
I think this year is a really good opportunity for us. We
can’t go more than one step at a time, but it certainly
looks promising if we can get through this weekend.
On the debate about the Davis cup format and whether it should be changed.
CAPTAIN COURIER: Davis Cup format has been a
discussion point for the players since Open tennis
began. You can go back and get quotes from Stan
Smith on the challenges that the Davis Cup schedule
puts on the players.
When you put it in an Olympic year, like this year, you
look at the calendar, you see why Andy Murray and
Novak Djokovic are both declining to play this week for
their countries, and they’re players who typically play a
lot of Davis Cup. You can see why those challenges
still exist in a pretty crowded calendar.
The new president of the ITF, Dave Haggerty, was
president of the US Tennis Association. He’s very
progressive, and I think you’ll see change. It will be
incremental change. It won’t come tomorrow. But I
think you’ll see the ball start to roll towards a new look
in Davis Cup that is a little bit more of the times.
You have to remember the Davis Cup started in 1900,
long before the Masters, long before many massive
sporting events like the Ryder Cup.
Davis Cup will need to change if it wants to get more
attention. It’s still a wonderful event. It will be a
tremendous event here this weekend. The people in
attendance will absolutely love it. We’ll love it. But
there will be a lot of people on the east coast of
America that won’t be aware that it’s taking place,
which is one of the things that I think a change in
format would bring for Davis Cup, more attention, not to
mention it would make more money, which for the ITF
would do wonders for the growth of the game.
I have a lot of thoughts on it. It’s on the record. You
can look up my comments from years and years and
years ago on Davis Cup. But I’m sitting here because I
love to be a part of it, even in its current format.
Davis Cup succeeds largely in spite of the format, not
because of it.
Asked about strategy against Croatia.
CAPTAIN COURIER: Look, it’s pretty clear what our
strengths are. Bob and Mike on the court are just so
complete. They move in sync. They make it very
difficult for other teams to hit winners. They extract a
lot of errors. Bob and Mike will do their normal dance
out there, which is a thing of beauty to watch. It’s been
incredible to be a captain and witness what they’re able
to do for us.
Jack and John, although the heights are a little bit
different, the style and the strengths are very similar.
Serves and forehands are the shots. They’re the ones
that will cause opponents to lose sleep.
That gives me great comfort as a captain because that
was my bread and butter, too. I think I have a pretty
good understanding of how they need to play and what
they do on the court well.
The other team, just to give you a quick overview,
Marin Cilic, big server, solid off both wings on the
ground, moves pretty well for a big guy. Obviously has
tasted sweet success at slams and tasted some
frustration last week at Wimbledon when he had three
match points against Federer.
How will that impact him here? We’ll only know come
Friday when he gets back on the court, because that’s
the only way to figure that out.
Coric, probably a better backhand than forehand.
Moves well. Very hungry, very professional for a 19-
year-old. He’s a rising star who won the fifth match for
these guys earlier this year. Has good Davis Cup
Not sure what we’ll face doubles-wise. We know Ivan
Dodig is a terrific doubles player. He has been one of
the top doubles players for a long time. So not sure
who he’ll match up with. Not sure what the
composition of their team will be come Thursday when
they have to tell us, because they have another player
named Skugor, who has played for them, who is also
here with them on site. So they have five players.
There is a lot of unknowables right now on the doubles
format. Cilic is a good doubles player. He could find
himself on the court on Saturday, too.
That’s my overview.
Asked about what he needs to do to jump up in the rankings.
JACK SOCK: That was an incredible win by Sam(Querrey). I
think everyone sitting here, everyone in this room, is
very happy for him.
Yeah, I mean, obviously the consistency from Novak
and those other guys at the top is what separates
them. I mean, they’re doing it week in, week out,
winning a majority of the tournaments, majority of the
Yeah, I mean, the skill level could be very slim and
anyone can kind of beat anyone on any given day. It’s
probably the little things, the preparation and
everything that goes into it, might be a couple levels
better, a hair better. That can make the difference.
For myself personally, obviously everyone here,
everyone’s always trying to improve and do the little
things the best they can. Doing that week in, week out
can only help us. Hopefully that gap will close sooner
JOHN ISNER: Jack said it. It’s about consistency.
Myself and Jack are very capable of having some very
good weeks on the tour, going deep into some big
tournaments. But these guys do it week in and week
out. That’s really what separates them from everyone
else. It’s what makes them the toughest out in tennis.
You know when you step on the court against them,
you’re going to be up against a very high level of talent
and dedication. Also these guys mentally are so
strong and have been doing it for so long, always have
a lot of confidence because they have a lot of wins
It’s all about being consistent. It’s what those guys do
remarkably well. As Jack eluded to, we see these guys
in the locker room, on the practice courts. They’re
extremely professional. It’s one of the reasons they’re
top in the world, is because they do absolutely
Team Croatia which included Captain also handled questions from the press with Captain Krajan, Marin Cilic, Borna Coric and Ivan Dodig in attendance.
Asked if members of the team remember Croatia winning the Davis Cup in 2005 and how important it was to their country.
BORNA CORIC: I’m the youngest, so I’m going to
Basically I started playing even more serious when that
happen. I was very young at that time and I wasn’t
sure if I’m going to try to go pro or not. This was big
thing for the Croatia, as well, and also for me.
It gave me some boost to go forward. It was
MARIN CILIC: Generally it has definitely huge impact
on tennis, in general, especially for a country that small
like Croatia. It was one of the country’s best
achievements in the history. So that’s definitely huge.
I think it gave also a little bit of financial help for the
young ones. Obviously winning it, it’s a big thing. It
attracted few more sponsors for the Federation and
obviously gave a little bit more opportunities for the
We of course would like that it is still a bit more. But at
that time I think for the young ones was pretty good,
and they could, you know, just look up to the best guys
and follow their lead. That’s, for sure, big motivation.
Asked if perfect 3-0 record against the US gives the team confidence.
CAPTAIN KRAJAN: I mean, for sure it gives you
confidence when you are playing against somebody
that you are already 3-Love ahead, better than if you’re
It’s different because it’s different players, different
times. It’s not the same teams. From that side it is
Again, probably there is something that suits us playing
States. We are pretty positive about this tie also.
Why is the Croatian team so good?
CAPTAIN KRAJAN: I mean, simply they’re good,
they’re very good. You all know Marin, and you know
what he achieved here in the States. I think you all
remember what he did in New York.
You know Borna, what kind of potential. He’s one of
the youngest, best players at his age in the world.
Ivan, great singles player, winning slam in the doubles.
I think they all top players in the world. As I said, that’s
why we are strong and we are looking forward for this
Asked about what it feels like to be a
Grand Slam champion.
IVAN DODIG: Yeah, I think it’s really special moment
for every athlete. For us is to win Grand Slam. It’s
obviously like you feel all the work you put into it, it’s in
the end rewarded. I think every player who start to play
tennis, dreaming about big things, is to win Grand
Me and Marin had this great feeling. I hope I can still
continue in doubles, do some great results. Still I’m
motivate and hope I can get more Grand Slam. As well
for all our guys here, for Marin, Borna, other Marin. I
think we have great potential and will still have great
moments, as well.
MARIN CILIC: Tennis is a very difficult sport looking
mentally. You are all year round going up and down
with your emotions. You’re wondering if you are going
to achieve your best potential, if you’re doing the best
things possible for yourself.
Obviously winning a Grand Slam is a part for yourself
that you achieve for all your career, all your life.
Everything you’ve put into it is suddenly worth it. For
me, you have different view on tennis, on your career.
You are obviously more relaxed, but as well on the
other side you are more motivated as you know your
potential, as you know what you can do, what you can
To be especially in this time, in this era with great
tennis players, the ones that are breaking so many
records, it’s definitely very challenging. It carries a
bigger weight to win a Grand Slam. So it’s definitely a
huge, huge motivation for me to continue on this path.
It’s a sign for all the other guys that are not achieving
their best potential yet, you know, that they can see
with hard work, with dedication, you can of course
believe and achieve these big things.
The Official Draw Ceremony for the U.S. vs. Croatia Davis Cup World Group Quarterfinal will take place at 1:00 p.m. PT on Thursday, July 14, at Pioneer Courthouse Square in Portland. The ceremony will be open to the public.
Croatia is set to play its tenth tie away from home in its last 11 Davis Cup ties, while the United States is seeking to get back to the semifinals for the first time since 2012. The U.S. last won the Davis Cup in December 2007 in Portland, Oregon.
Singles play begins at 11:30 a.m. PT on Friday, July 15, and Sunday, July 17. Doubles play begins on Saturday at 1:30 p.m. PT. Tennis Channel will have television coverage.