Skip to main content
  1. AXS Entertainment
  2. Recreation
  3. Recreational Sports

U.S. Davis Cup team pre-draw press conference

See also

San Diego's Petco Park will host the 2014 Davis Cup by BNP Paribas first round match between the U.S. and Great Britain, January 31 - February 2. The knockout-round constitutes a rematch of the first-ever Davis Cup tie, which took place at the Longwood Cricket Club in Boston back in 1900. Not only do the Americans lead the all-time head-to-head 11-7, but they have also won the last four meetings between the two nations. One has to go all the way back to 1935 for the last British victory over USA.

Captain Jim Courier and his team of John Isner, Sam Querrey and Mike & Bob Bryan held a pre-draw press conference today and answered questions of the reporters present.

Q. Jim, the court, how is it playing? Typical clay court? Fast? Slow? Dirty? What do you got?

CAPTAIN COURIER: Well, definitely making the socks dirty, which is a good thing. That means it's a real red clay court. It's playing well. It's a beautiful setting. It's a unique setting. So far the surface, I'm sure they'll work on it a little bit to kind of tweak it for the climate because it's pretty dry here. Maybe get it a little bit damper because it's a little bit slippery for everyone at the moment. But they're working on it, and I think it's going to be really wonderful by the time Friday rolls around.

Q. Pretty unique setting, isn't it?

CAPTAIN COURIER: It's incredible. Yeah, it's beautiful.

Q. Maybe just a quick thought on choosing this surface.

CAPTAIN COURIER: The reason we chose the surface are these four guys. That's what they wanted to play on. You know, the unique situation in Davis Cup where we have the option to choose a surface that we're after, and this is first time I think since '92 probably that the U.S. team has chosen to play on clay at home. We've been put on red clay a bunch when we play overseas, but this time we're choosing to do it. Our results show we actually like the surface
and do pretty good on it.

Q. Tipping the hat for the old coach who won a couple Frenches. That's not it?

CAPTAIN COURIER: Yeah, yeah. No, not so much. We're not going back to the short, short era.

Q. Does Murray's record on clay have anything to do with the selection of red clay?

CAPTAIN COURIER: Guys, does it?

SAM QUERREY: No, I think it was more about what kind of Captain Courier said, that it was what we were comfortable playing on. We thought it was the surface that gave us the best chance. We all have played well on clay in the past. The object of the tie is to get three wins, and we felt playing on clay was our best chance.

Q. John, talk about the difference of playing Davis Cup. It's not Isner 1, Murray 0; it's United States 1, Great Britain 0. Is that a real thing, just patriotic pride?

JOHN ISNER: Yeah, absolutely. It's something we don't experience too often. At most it happens four times a year. These weeks don't come 'round all too often. It's very different from our normal tournament weeks where we're pretty much focused on ourselves. For me, and I think I can speak for the rest of the team as well - we enjoy these weeks so
much because we're not just playing for ourselves. We're playing for teammates and our country. It's a tremendous honor. It's not necessarily you versus your opponent. It's your country versus their country.

Q. What's the most hostile or maybe difficult environment any of you guys have been in? Obviously would have been away from the U.S. in Davis Cup.

BOB BRYAN: I would say...

CAPTAIN COURIER: Serbia.

BOB BRYAN: Yeah, Serbia. Belgrade. Going in there to Serbia, you know, packed house, big arena, very passionate fans for their country. Yeah, just double faults you hear that crowd erupt even in between serves when it's
harder to hear what Jim is trying to tell on the sideline. It's like playing in Seattle. It's pretty wild. But we've had some fun ones over there. We've all played well on the road. Yeah, I mean, we like doing it. We like going out there and just
battling 27,000 Spanish fans or whatever it is. It's part of Davis Cup. Yeah, it brings out of best in you sometimes.

Q. So do the Serbs call it their third man when you're playing doubles?

BOB BRYAN: Yeah.

Q. A little different setting, Davis Cup tennis. What would you like to hear from your fans as they watch you four play?

MIKE BRYAN: Yeah, we want to hear the noise. We have the Net Heads coming in. They're our cheering section. We hope there's a great crowd. We hope they're pretty boisterous and they give us the support we need. For Bob and I, we play with a lot of energy and we feed off the crowd. We want to get pumped up and hope they can bring it on Friday, Saturday, Sunday.

Q. How different is it for you to be representing your country rather than of just the two of you out there playing?

MIKE BRYAN: Yeah, it's been a dream for us to play Davis Cup. I mean, to play for your country, your teammates, is something we've always wanted to do. There is extra pressure involved when you're playing for your country, but
it's a pressure wet all welcome. We, Bob and I, we treat these matches like they're Grand Slam finals. When we win a Davis Cup match, we're high for a long time; when we lose one, they sting. That's why we want to win.

Q. Could get damp. Are you guys mudders?

MIKE BRYAN: We can slosh around a little bit.

Q. John, you're known as being a big sports fan away from tennis. So what order do your favorite teams fall in? Is it Panthers, Georgia, Hurricanes?

JOHN ISNER: Good question. No. I think they're all on par.

CAPTAIN COURIER: Terrible answer.

JOHN ISNER: No, it's not.

CAPTAIN COURIER: Terrible answer.

JOHN ISNER: Right now...

Q. Is it being honest?

JOHN ISNER: No, no, right now it's hockey season. Panthers unfortunately are out of it and Georgia is done, so that's the sport I'm following closest right now, I guess. Those three teams, certainly I enjoy cheering for them.

Q. If you had to get rid of one...

JOHN ISNER: (Laughter.) Can't answer that one.

Q. How many Panthers jerseys do you own?

JOHN ISNER: Actually not that many. I think I have two. I'm not a big jersey guy. You know, I'm not...

CAPTAIN COURIER: They don’t make them big enough for you.

JOHN ISNER: They do. They do. I've got a Delhomme jersey and a Steve Smith jersey. That's it. I just wear a hat if I go to the game or something.

Q. Are you still texting with Steve Smith? You guys that tight?

JOHN ISNER: Yeah. He's a pretty good friend of mine. I mean, we don't text every day, but, no, we're good friends. I got to know him a little bit, which was cool.

Q. John, is the health okay? There were some issues Down Under.

JOHN ISNER: Yeah, I'm getting better. I wouldn't say I'm exactly where I want to be right now. You know, annoying issue that I'm dealing with, but I'm certainly getting better. I'm not going backwards, so we'll see how these next couple days go.

Q. Jim, quickly, the Great Britain team, what kind of challenge will they pose?

CAPTAIN COURIER: Sure. Well, we obviously know a lot about Andy Murray on our side. These guys have seen a lot of him. We don't know as much about the rest of their singles players. We'll learn more as we go over the weekend for sure. It's going to be a challenge for us, because even if you don't recognize -- and I wouldn't expect
that you guys would recognize too many of the guys other than Murray on their team - we all know what Davis Cup means to people and what it brings out in other teams. We've experienced some heartbreak at the hands of people that most tennis fans don't know a lot about. So we can't underestimate anything or anyone in this setting.
There are three matches that need to go on our side somehow, some way. If we get more than that, that would be great. We're focused on getting three. We know they're going to be tough.

Q. Jim, thoughts about the facility here.

CAPTAIN COURIER: Yeah, this is one of the most unique and beautiful tennis settings I think we'll experience in our lifetime. This is spectacular to be able to be in this ballpark and just have an incredible tennis facility pop up out of
nowhere. It's going to be special not only for us playing, but I think for the spectators that get to come and experience it too. It's going to be one that we'll all look back on hopefully fondly because we'll have won, but certainly the experience of playing here in San Diego will be a special one.

Q. I saw Ron Burgundy has been credentialed. Has he asked you any good questions?

CAPTAIN COURIER: I didn't notice that Ron was here, we're all fans of San Diego. Not sure if he knows what it stands for officially. Not sure if we'll see any whales this week. It's good to have Ron in the house. That's about as inside as I can get without getting outside. (Laughter.)

Q. John, it's nearly four years after the fact, but do you still get asked about the Wimbledon, 70-68?

CAPTAIN COURIER: You just did.

JOHN ISNER: Yeah, I get asked a lot, and I just got asked again. (Laughter.)

Q. So in other words, you get tired of being asked about it?

JOHN ISNER: No. I mean, sometimes. It's gotten less and less I guess as the years have gone on.

CAPTAIN COURIER: Imagine how bad it would be if he lost the match?

JOHN ISNER: Yeah. Could be worse.

Q. Are any of you Padres fans?

CAPTAIN COURIER: I'm a Dick Enberg fan, but I'm a Cincinnati Reds fan. Sorry about that.

BOB BRYAN: Dodgers and Padres.

SAM QUERREY: If the Dodgers aren't in I cheer for the NL West, so...

Q. Best team money can buy.

SAM QUERREY: Yeah, whatever. Championship.

Q. Hey, Jim, when does the order of play for singles become...

CAPTAIN COURIER: Thursday. So Thursday we do the official draw and they'll pick and get to see which match goes. It's 1 versus 2, so they'll select it out of the hat or something on Thursday.

Q. Sam, does it matter to you when you play?

SAM QUERREY: No. I've played first; I've played second. Really don't matter. I'll be ready either way.

CAPTAIN COURIER: All right.

Q. Question is for Mike and Bob. Tell me your thoughts about your participation in World Tennis Day, what's it mean to play in it and what exactly are you going to be doing for it.

BOB BRYAN: World tennis day. Yeah, we're excited to go to Madison Square Garden. Obviously that's a historic venue for all sports, and there's been some great tennis events there over the years. I know the World Tour Finals were there in the '80s. Did you play there?

CAPTAIN COURIER: I didn't.

BOB BRYAN: Bad luck. But, yeah, being a music fan, every artist, they've made it when they've sold out the Garden. I don't know if we're going to sell it out, but we're going to have a lot of fun.

CAPTAIN COURIER: You've made it.

JOHN ISNER: Finally.

CAPTAIN COURIER: You haven't made it yet. You haven't won enough Grand Slams yet.
All right, thanks everyone.

Advertisement