Courier seeks ultimate ask win in Spain
Date published :
04 Sep 2012 - 20:18:13
US Davis Cup captain Jim Courier, pleased at two road triumphs so far, says winning next week's semi-final on Spanish clay will be "the ultimate ask" of his team even with Spain's Rafael Nadal absent.
World No. 10 John Isner, 28th-ranked Sam Querrey and brother doubles duo Mike and Bob Bryan will represent the Americans against Spaniards David Ferrer, Nicolas Almagro, Marc Lopez and Marcel Granollers on September 14-16.
"It's the ultimate ask, going into Spain and playing them on red clay, where they haven't lost in a long time," Courier said. "We certainly aren't the favorites and we felt that way in the first two matches as well."
Spain will be hurt by the loss of Nadal, who has been battling knee problems for months and skipped the Olympics and US Open. Nadal announced that he will miss another two months of the season but could return for a Davis Cup final.
But Courier expects a difficult challenge anyway given Ferrer being fifth in the rankiings and Almagro standing 12th in the world.
"They are going to be tough, no doubt about it," Courier said.
The Americans traveled to oust the Swiss in round one and defeated host France in the quarter-finals. Should they upset Spain, they would either host the Czech Republic or travel to Argentina for the final in November.
"We've had the toughest draw you can have in Davis Cup," Courier said.
"If we get to the final, let's run the table. Let's be on the road all year long. Let's go to Argentina and win it down there. If we're going to do this let's make this the greatest road season in modern Davis Cup history."
Isner made a third-round US Open exit and will have a week to rest before leaving for Spain.
"He'll get more rest. He will need it," Courier said. "He overscheduled himself. He will learn from that. He's incredibly excited about Davis Cup. He's going to have to be fresh and rested to be able to beat Ferrer and Almagro."
The US lineup will not include 22nd-ranked Andy Roddick, who will retire after this week's US Open, and 25th-ranked Mardy Fish, who is out until later this year after withdrawing from the US Open on Monday with health problems.
"Andy certainly set a high bar. He has been leader of the team for the past decade," Courier said. "The team is going to miss Andy no doubt about it. But circle of life. You have to move forward."
Courier said he has not spoken to Fish in recent days about his condition.
"And I've been concerned about his health since back in March," Courier said.