Wednesday, February 13, 2013

U.S. to host Serbia in Davis Cup quarters in Boise

Novak Djokovic may compete

Davis Cup tennis and possibly the world’s best men’s player are coming to Boise’s Taco Bell Arena on the campus of Boise State University.

The U.S. Tennis Association reported last week that the U.S. Davis Cup team will host Serbia in the quarterfinals Friday through Sunday, April 5-7 indoors at Taco Bell Arena, with its seating capacity of over 11,000 people.

U.S. Davis Cup captain Jim Courier is looking forward to bringing his team to Boise and hosting Serbia in the upcoming best-of-five series. The Serbian team features the world’s No. 1-ranked player in Novak Djokovic.

The Americans earned the quarterfinal meeting with Serbia with a dramatic 3-2 first-round victory over Brazil Feb. 2 at Jacksonville, Fla. that was capped by a thrilling 4-6, 6-3, 6-4, 7-6 (3) men’s singles victory by 20th-ranked Sam Querrey over Thiago Alves.

Contributing to the U.S. win over Brazil that finalized April’s Boise match-up was the world’s No. 1 men’s doubles team of brothers Bob and Mike Bryan, the reigning Australian Open champions, as well as singles player John Isner.

Team captain Courier has connections to Boise since he was coached by BSU tennis coach Greg Patton, who has worked hard to bring the event to Boise. It will be just the second meeting between the U.S. and Serbia in Davis Cup competition.

Led by Djokovic, Serbia won the only previous meeting 3-2 in the 2010 World Group first round at Belgrade. Djokovic defeated both Isner and Querrey in that competition. Serbia went on to win the 2010 Davis Cup over France.

Djokovic, 25, a 6-2, tenth-year professional, has won over $48 million during a career that includes a 477-123 singles record, 35 singles titles and four Australian Open singles championships. He was the 2011 Wimbledon and U.S. Open king, and had a string of 43 straight victories from the 2010 Davis Cup final through the 2011 French Open.

Patton told the Boise-based Idaho Statesman newspaper in a Feb. 3 article that hosting the Davis Cup in April will be the most significant tennis event, ever, for Boise and state of Idaho.

One factor that might prevent Djokovic from competing, the Wall Street Journal reported last week, is if the 2012 French Open runner-up decides to concentrate on clay court training to prepare for June’s French Open.

Serbia is one of only three countries to have a winning record against the U.S. in the annual Davis Cup team competition. Each team consists of two singles players and one doubles team. Planned for Boise are two singles matches April 5, a doubles match April 6 and two singles matches April 7.

Each match is worth a point. A team needs three points to advance.

The other three match-ups for the April 5-7 quarterfinals are France vs. Argentina, Canada vs. Italy and Czech Republic vs. Kazakhstan. This year’s semi-finals are set for Sept. 13-15, and the finals Nov. 15-17. Last year, the Czech Republic defeated Spain 3-2 for the title.

Serbia won its first-round clash 3-2 over Belgium Feb. 3, Djokovic giving Serbia a 2-0 lead with a straight-set singles victory.

The USTA announced that tickets for the Davis Cup quarterfinals in Boise will go on sale to the general public in late February. Players will be named to each team no later than 10 days prior to the start of April’s competition, the USTA said.

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