Veteran squad to lead Team USA vs. Switzerland in Davis Cup First Round

January 24, 2017 07:51 AM

By Ashley Marshall,

U.S. Davis Cup captain Jim Courier has named the strongest possible lineup for February’s first-round tie, picking four Top 50 players to face Switzerland in Birmingham, Ala., Feb. 3-5.

Courier’s team features all four of the highest-ranked American men in the singles rankings: world No. 19 John Isner, No. 20 Jack Sock, No. 30 Steve Johnson and No. 32 Sam Querrey.

All four players have represented the U.S. in Davis Cup play before, led by Isner, who has played a dozen ties between 2010 and 2016 and holds a 13-10 overall record. Querrey will be playing his 10th tie after also representing Team USA in 2008, 2010 and 2012-15. Sock is on the team for the third time and Johnson is making his second appearance.

The squad does not include Mike and Bob Bryan, the winningest doubles team in U.S. Davis Cup history, following Sunday’s announcement from the brothers that they were retiring from the international team event.

Additionally, Courier announced that former University of Virginia college standout Ryan Shane will be the practice partner for the U.S. Davis Cup team.

To take on the U.S., Swiss captain Severin Luthi has nominated No. 128 Marco Chiudinelli, No. 133 Henri Laaksonen, No. 488 Adrien Bossel and No. 612 Antione Bellier. Neither of Switzerland’s two stars – world No. 4 Stan Wawrinka and 17-time Grand Slam champion Roger Federer – will make the trip.

The best-of-five World Group first-round tie will be played on an indoor hard court at the Legacy Arena at the Birmingham-Jefferson Convention Complex.

The winner of this tie advances to the World Group quarterfinals, April 7-9, and will play either the Czech Republic or Australia. The losing nation will compete in the World Group Playoff, Sept. 15-17, for the right to remain in the World Group in 2018.

The U.S. holds a 3-1 record over Switzerland in Davis Cup, last meeting in the 2012 World Group First Round in Fribourg, Switzerland. The U.S. swept that tie, 5-0, with Isner upsetting Federer and Mardy Fish beating Wawrinka before the Bryans secured the win for the U.S.

Team USA, which leads all nations with 32 Davis Cup titles and holds a 216-70 all-time Davis Cup record, also hosted Switzerland in Birmingham in 2009 and squared off against the Swiss in 1992 and 2001.

Play begins Friday, Feb. 3, with two singles matches featuring each country’s No. 1 player against the other country’s No. 2 player. Saturday’s schedule features the doubles match, and the final day of play on Sunday features the two “reverse singles” matches, when the No. 1 players square off, followed by the No. 2 players.

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