US ditches ‘road warrior’ tag after Davis Cup loss
The United States has reached the end of the road in its Davis
The Americans couldn’t overcome Spain’s superiority on clay,
falling when David Ferrer beat John Isner 6-7 (3), 6-3, 6-4, 6-2
Sunday to secure the defending champions an insurmountable 3-1 lead
in their semifinal.
The U.S. is now quite happy to ditch its road warrior tag
following the loss.
The Americans’ strong 2012 run included away victories over both
Roger Federer-led Switzerland and France on clay. But even those
impressive victories couldn’t propel it past the world’s top
clay-court nation, with Ferrer remaining unbeaten on the surface
for his 16th victory.
Three straight road series took a toll on a U.S. team missing
the retired Andy Roddick and Mardy Fish because of health issues,
but captain Jim Courier expects his young team to remain positive
heading into 2013.
He was also hoping Wednesday’s draw would be a little more
”There is a lot for this team to be proud of and what we have
achieved this year – the way we have approached it, attacked it and
the draw, the obstacles we have had,” Courier said Sunday. ”We
have been given the most difficult draw that you can have in this
era to play the teams we have on the road. We had some great wins
and we had some competitive losses.”
Wednesday’s draw for next season’s World Group play will
determine the 32-time champions’ first opponent, with the Americans
having about a 50-percent chance of hosting to open.
”We’ll be ready for whatever happens, (but) it would be really
nice to have a home tie, we didn’t have one this year,” Courier
said. ”The schedule is terrible for the players after the
Isner had been 4-0 on clay this season, including singles wins
over Federer and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, but the 10th-ranked American
couldn’t maintain his strong start on Sunday. Isner was undone by
74 unforced errors and his own frustrations as the match against
the fifth-ranked Ferrer slipped away.
”It is disappointing; the Spanish team in my opinion is just
too good. They won the important points and it is a bit
discouraging for me,” said Isner, who lost in five sets to Nicolas
Almagro on Friday.
The victory over Federer in Fribourg was probably the season’s
”You live and you learn,” Isner said after failing to keep the
tie alive following the Bryan brothers’ doubles victory on
Courier’s second season ended the same as his first – with a
loss to Spain, which goes on to play the Czech Republic in
He’s had to juggle his singles lineup around Isner due to Fish’s
absence. Ryan Harrison played against France and Sam Querrey played
Spain, with the pair going 0-3. Still, Courier is certain the
experience of this season will bear fruit.
”We take some solace in (how close we were), but a win is a win
and a loss is a loss. There is some silver lining in what this team
has achieved this season,” Courier said. ”The Spaniards knew how
to win key points in the matches they won.
”They have individual players, great depth and great passion
for Davis Cup. It’s not rocket science, if you have great
ingredients and you have to blend them together and they do a great
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