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29 January 2014

Querrey predicting close battle with Brits


Photo: Susan MullaneSam Querrey (USA)

Sam Querrey has been in and out of the USA Davis Cup team during his career but having cemented his place as the American No. 2 in the rankings he has taken on a more important role within the team, helping them to reach the quarterfinal last year.

In the 2013 first round he faced the task of playing in the decisive rubber against Brazil with the tie on the line.

“No matter who you play in a Davis Cup match it’s tough. In Jacksonville last year I played the fifth rubber against [Thiago Alves], it was a tough four-setter, I was nervous, the stakes are raised a little bit in Davis Cup so I think it will be tough no matter who we are playing”

This time around the USA will face a rematch of the oldest rivalry in the competition as Great Britain travel to San Diego with world No. 6 Andy Murray leading the visitors into action. Qurrey can look back to a victory over Murray in the final of Los Angeles in 2010 as inspiration for the tie.

“At least I’ve beaten him one time, so that gives me a little belief that I can do it again. He’s got me five or six times I think but I can go out there and that will be one where I shouldn’t have anything to lose. I can go out there and play aggressive and hopefully play well and I think I have a shot to beat him

“Every rubber is equally as important, they have a great doubles line-up and Andy Murray could play…they have a lot of choices and it’s not a guaranteed win for us at all, the Bryans are going to have to play really well”

The tie in being played in the unique surroundings of Petco Park, which usually hosts Major League Baseball’s San Diego Padres but has been transformed for the Davis Cup with a temporary clay court being constructed in one corner of the stadium.

Querrey may not have competed in the arena but he has experienced the venue as a spectator: “I saw the Padres play the Cardinals there about ten years ago to watch Mark McGwire hit some of his home runs when he was on his home run streak. It’s one of the cool stadiums, great stadium and I’m excited to see what it will look like.

“I think [the surface] is more in favour of us, we’re all very comfortable on clay. We think it gives ourselves a great chance and that’s what we are going to play on.”

The 26-year-old believes that the team has a good chance of going all the way this year with the USA looking for a first title since 2007.

 “I think we have a team that can win it. Last year we lost to Serbia in the second round – we lost a heartbreaker in the doubles and if we win that then maybe John Isner beats Troicki in the fifth and we’re playing Canada at home and then maybe in the finals and anything can happen.

“I think with Bob and Mike [Bryan], who have arguably the best Davis Cup record ever, and John and I are two dangerous players, I think we can win Davis Cup.”

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