I've just participated in the conference call announcing the team for the U.S. Davis Cup tie in Serbia March 5-7. You've probably heard that Andy Roddick and James Blake are not playing, so it was not surprising that Patrick McEnroe selected John Isner and Sam Querrey, along with the Bryan twins.
I had heard during the Men's Team Indoor that Jack Sock would be named, so I joined the call to find out who the other player would be. It isn't always a junior player, but this time it is, with Denis Kudla accompanying the team to Serbia.
Because Querrey and Isner participated in the call, I had the opportunity to ask Querrey about his experience as a practice partner.
Q. This question is for Sam. I was wondering if you could talk a little bit about Denis and Jack. I believe it's both their first times being practice partners, and what you took from that, and how you'll kind of guide them through the experience.
SAM QUERREY: I mean, Denis and Jack, I've known Dennis for a couple years, and I've hit with him probably 50 times, and he's a great kid, great player, and I definitely think he's going to have a blast over there. And Jack, I've only hit with Jack one time, but I've followed along with his results, and he's playing well, and he seems to be one of the best -- I think they're both 17, and they seem to be like the two best 17-year-olds in America. I think they're going to have great careers.
And Davis Cup is a great week. The first week I did it was I think three years ago or four years ago when we played Belgium away. It was my first time meeting Andy and James, and it was just fun to see -- watch those guys practice and just to practice with them and see what they do and how intense they are and how hard they work, to take everything that I learned from that week and apply it to my game. I think John and I will try to show them that when we're there this week or next week.
I think it's just a great experience for them because hopefully one day those two will be on the team, and they're not just going to go into Davis Cup for their first time and be surprised. Hopefully -- well, they're obviously going to be the practice partners but hopefully they can do it a couple more times and really get the vibe and get the feeling of what it's like to play Davis Cup matches, especially away like we are in Serbia.
While Querrey is correct that Kudla and Sock are among the best 17-year-olds, Ryan Harrison, who was a Davis Cup practice partner last July, is certainly in the group as well.
It was also interesting to hear McEnroe mention Isner's experience in college tennis as an advantage in playing Davis Cup.
"...John has so much experience playing in college tennis, which I think will really serve him well because he's used to that kind of atmosphere. Obviously not this many people, but you play down there in Athens with the crowd going crazy or one of those other SEC teams, they get pretty into it. So I think John will really be able to handle that well.
Wednesday, February 17, 2010