SANTIAGO, CHILE: The Americans are favoured to add another notch on their victory belt when they take on Chile in the Davis Cup by BNP Paribas World Group first round in Santiago.
This will be the fifth meeting between the two nations and USA has an unblemished record. However, you never know what could happen in Davis Cup as the competition has been known to throw up more than a few surprises during its 110-year history.
The tie opens on Friday with the Chilean No.1 Paul Capdeville playing John Isner, and then veteran Nicolas Massu faces Andy Roddick.
The doubles on day two has Massu teaming up with Jorge Aguilar against Bob and Mike Bryan, the best combination in the world, before the final day’s reverse singles sees the No. 1s going head-to-head, Capdeville and Roddick, and then the tie closing with Massu and Isner.
The American captain Jim Courier is making his debut in that role and while he is no stranger to Davis Cup, having been a player in 16 ties, this is a different feeling.
“I think I’m the right amount of nervous,” Courier said. “I have that excited kind of nervous which is what I’d expect to have at the moment. I’m not sure what I’ll exactly feel like tomorrow when we walk out there but it’ll be a different experience. I’ve thought a lot about it.”
On the other side of the net the Chilean captain Hans Gildemeister was also a player, but he’s been in the captain’s role far longer and is expecting a tough three days of close tennis.
“Nicolas Massu has been practicing the whole week at the same time we play,” Gildemeister said. “I think it’s a good draw for us because Andy Roddick has a lot of pressure to beat Nicolas because he’s ranked No. 8 and has a very good Davis Cup record.
“Nicolas is going to fight and not give any points away and I think the way he has played the last few days, he can do some damage to Andy.
“This is why the Americans brought their best team – the Bryans in the doubles, Andy and John Isner in singles. We are going to try very hard and give them pressure in the beginning and if (my players) are fine we can do damage.”
The last time the two nations met in Davis Cup was on the grass at Mission Hills, California five years ago, when the Americans won 3-2. The last time they played in Chile was at the same facility as this weekend, Estadio Nacional, but that was way back in 1978.
The full draw is listed below.
R1: Nicolas Massu (CHI) v Andy Roddick (USA)
R2: Paul Capdeville (CHI) v John Isner (USA)
R3: Jorge Aguilar/Nicolas Massu (CHI) v Bob Bryan/Mike Bryan (USA)
R4: Paul Capdeville (CHI) v Andy Roddick (USA)
R5: Nicolas Massu (CHI) v John Isner (USA)
Watch this tie live on: DavisCup.tv
Captain Jim Courier (USA) - 03/03/11
Andy Roddick (USA) - 03/03/11
John Isner (USA) - 03/03/11
Bob Bryan and Mike Bryan (USA) - 03/11/11
Captain Hans Gildemeister (CHI) - 03/03/11
Paul Capdeville (CHI) - 03/03/11
Nicolas Massu (CHI) - 03/03/11
Jorge Aguilar and Nicolas Massu (CHI) - 03/03/11