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USTA FL Friday Blog: Davis Cup, Williams Sisters on TV Today

April 5, 2013 08:07 AM
Between the U.S. hosting Serbia and No. 1 Novak Djokovic in Boise, Idaho today, and the Williams sisters leading the charge at the Family Circle Cup in Charleston, S.C., you can catch tennis all afternoon today on Tennis Channel and ESPN2.

A rain-delayed schedule on Thursday has led to a blockbuster Friday schedule at the Family Circle Cup, where some of the top players will be doubling-up in match play to catch up. Serena and Venus both take on American contemporaries, as the elder Venus takes on naturalized American Varvara Lepchenko, and the younger Serena faces Mallory Burdette. Later in the day Venus if successful will take to the court again to face the winner of Americans Madison Keys and Bethanie Mattek-Sands. If Serena wins she will later in the day face the winner of the earlier Sorana Cirstea-Lucie Safarova meeting.

Two other former No. 1s will be on court Friday as Caroline Wozniacki meets Stefanie Voegele, and Jelena Jankovic, who earlier in the week survived a three-setter against Melanie Oudin, faces Canadian rising star Eugenie Bouchard.

TV coverage of the Family Circle Cup starts today at 1 p.m. on ESPN2.
John Isner (left) and Novak Djokovic thumb wrestle to see who gets to serve first in their match on Friday (photo: Ron Angle/USTA)
U.S. vs. No. 1 Djokovic in Davis Cup
World No. 1 Novak Djokovic will be a major roadblock to the U.S. advancing into the semifinals of the Davis Cup this weekend, but Americans John Isner, Sam Querrey and the Bryan brothers will look to come out ahead starting today at the Taco Bell Arena (where is  the Taco Bell?) in Boise, Idaho.
It is only the third time the U.S. has faced a world No. 1 -- the U.S. is 1-1 after losing to Rafael Nadal in 2008 and defeating Stefan Edberg's Sweden in 1992. Serbia is also only one of three countries to have a winning record against the U.S.

The good news -- the U.S. is 110-16 all-time in Davis Cup ties played at home. Captain Jim Courier hopes the 2,800-foot altitude in Boise will help the big serves and groundstrokes of Isner and Querrey.

"They are very strong," said Djokovic of the U.S. team. "They have chosen these conditions because they believe it's going to be in their favor. They have a strong serve. With this altitude, it helps the serve more. But we played in these conditions before."

Isner vs. Djokovic will kick off play today, followed by Querrey vs. Viktor Troicki, who replaces the injured Janko Tipsarevic for Serbia. Isner won his last meeting against Djokovic at Indian Wells last year.

Other Davis Cup quarterfinal match-ups over the weekend are Italy at Canada, France at Argentina, and the Czech Republic at Kazakhstan. Should the U.S. defeat Serbia, it will host Canada or travel to Italy.

Coverage of U.S. vs. Serbia starts live at 3:30 p.m. today on Tennis Channel.

Fish No Stranger in Tallahassee
It was announced that Mardy Fish will take a wildcard into the Tallahassee Challenger in Florida on April 29-May 4, but the 31 year old, making a comeback from a heart issue, is no stranger to Tallahassee. In 2006, making a comeback from wrist surgery, Fish made his only previous appearance at the Tallahassee Challenger, defeating Justin Gimelstob in the first round and Zack Fleishman in the final to take the title.

Tallahassee Challenger Tournament Director Karen Vogter announced the wildcard for Fish at a press conference Wednesday morning. "We are delighted to welcome Mardy back to Tallahassee to play in the 21st edition of this event," Vogter said. "He has a special place in our hearts, and we're happy to help him continue his tennis journey."
Happy weekending,
The USTA Florida Friday blog is written by USTA Florida Communications Coordinator Rick Vach, to e-mail him CLICK HERE.





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