After his team’s sterling efforts on away soil last year, USA’s Davis Cup captain Jim Courier says he is excited about what the Davis Cup by BNP Paribas has in store for his team next year.
USA host Brazil in their opening round tie at the Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena in Jacksonville, Florida, on 1-3 February, their first home tie since they welcomed quarter-final opponents Spain to Texas in July 2011, and Courier is relishing the prospect.
“We’re excited about 2013 as a team,” said Courier. “We’re proud of what 2012 ended up being for us given how challenging the draw was. We’ve earned some home ties this year, which we’re really looking forward to, assuming we win our first one.
“We have Brazil, which will be challenging. They certainly are not walkovers and we’ll be ready to play when we get to Jacksonville the first week of February.”
USA made headlines with several remarkable performances in 2012, beating Switzerland and France on away clay before the team of John Isner, Sam Querrey and Bob and Mike Bryan were beaten by five-time champions Spain in the semi-finals in Gijon.
“From our team standpoint, I think what we saw in Spain is probably what the nucleus of the team will be for the next couple of ties unless we see Mardy Fish back out there feeling good,” said Courier. “Obviously his tennis, when he last left off, was excellent. He made the Round of 16 at the US Open, had played well through the summer. If he can get his physical challenges taken care of, he’ll be a big part of what happens with our team going forward.
“Isner, with Querrey, with the Bryans, I think that’s likely what we’ll be looking at early on until Mardy Fish gets back up and running."
It’s not just his core team that has left Courier relishing next year's competition, but the depth of the USA squad.
“[If you] look down the list of our players, you have Brian Baker, who had a ‘coming out’ party this year, a little late in the age department, but certainly played some great tennis. Ryan Harrison was a big piece of what we did this year as a team. Then you can start looking towards some of the younger or less experienced players, Donald Young, Jr., I’m hoping he can turn it around and get back to where he rightfully belongs talent-wise – in the top 50.
“You have some other guys coming out there with Steve Johnson, Denis Kudla, Jack Sock, some others, that can be a part of what we do going forward. They have a lot of work ahead of them and hopefully they'll be doing that."