USA’s new Davis Cup captain Jim Courier has named the players that will take on Chile next month in the World Group first round, spearheaded by the return of world No. 8 Andy Roddick.
Making the announcement on Thursday, Courier selected a five-man squad to travel to Santiago, with Roddick lining up alongside John Isner, Sam Querrey, and doubles specialists Bob and Mike Bryan.
Official player nominations are due on 22 February, when Courier will have to shortlist four players to make up the team, although two further changes are still permitted until one hour before the draw ceremony takes place on 3 March.
"All of the U.S. players are committed to the goal of winning the Davis Cup and our first step is to go to battle in Santiago," said Courier. "We expect a tough weekend of matches with our Chilean counterparts and look forward to the challenge."
Roddick, a former world No. 1 and US Open champion, is making a comeback in the competition after sitting out last year’s campaign. His crowning moment came in 2007 when he led the Americans to their first Davis Cup triumph in 12 years, defeating Russia 4-1 in the final in Portland.
Isner and Querrey, both ranked inside the world’s Top 25, are relatively inexperienced when it comes to Davis Cup, but they played key roles in 2010. Isner enjoyed a promising debut season by claiming a pair of doubles wins, while Querrey, still searching for his first live victory, won a dead singles rubber against Serbia.
The Bryan brothers are currently the No. 1 ranked doubles duo in the world after winning back-to-back Grand Slam titles at the US Open and Australian Open. Their form in Davis Cup is just as impressive, having compiled a 17-2 win-loss doubles record since first making their appearances in 2003.
Courier, who took over as captain following Patrick McEnroe’s decision to stand down after ten years at the helm, decided to overlook world No. 17 Mardy Fish when picking his team.
Fish was the hero in McEnroe’s final tie, a 3-1 victory over Colombia on clay in the World Group play-offs in Bogota, when he became the first American player since Pete Sampras in 1995 to win all three of his rubbers, including two five-set singles victories.
The World Group first round clash with Chile is also on clay, which plays into the hands of the hosts, but Courier’s men still go into the tie as red-hot favourites. USA has won all four previous meetings between the two nations and the Chileans are without their No. 1 player, the injured Fernando Gonzalez.
The Davis Cup by BNP Paribas World Group first round is taking place on 4-6 March.