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U.S. Readies Itself for Davis Cup, Fed Cup Clashes

February 3, 2012 02:01 PM
U.S. Davis Cup Team Prepares for Federer, Clay in Switzerland

DavisCupLogoUSAU.S. Captain Jim Courier announced the Davis Cup team that will undertake the challenge of travelling to Fribourg, Switzerland for the Feb. 10-12, 2012 first-round Davis Cup tie against the formidable team of former No. 1 Roger Federer and Stanislas Wawrinka on red clay. The U.S. squad will be comprised of Mardy Fish, John Isner, Mike Bryan, and Ryan Harrison.

"We travel to Switzerland this Saturday night," Courier blogged for Tennis.com. "Bob Bryan's wife, Michelle, gave birth to their first child this week, so Bob is not available. Andy Roddick was not planning on joining us, and with his injury in Australia he would've been out anyway. I'm looking forward to having Ryan involved, even though he is unlikely to play. We had a great two-day training camp with Ryan, Donald Young and Jack Sock in December in Tampa, and these guys are all working hard to be a part of the team going forward."

The Swiss have never won a Davis Cup title in the Federer era, but Federer and Wawrinka captured Olympic gold in doubles in 2008.

"Mardy and John are the singles guys and it's most likely Mardy and Mike in the doubles, although we'll need to see how the singles goes on Friday before we finalize the doubles squad for Saturday," Courier said. "It's a big challenge with Fed and Wawrinka in front of us. We'll be ready to fire come match time."

Courier added that Isner likes playing on the red clay, and Fish has had plenty of claycourt experience back to his junior years in Florida.

"We have the toughest draw you can have in Davis Cup," Courier said of facing the Swiss on their home court. "It's the ultimate test. It's going to be a big battle, but we have nothing to lose. We have to go out and lay it on the line and we know we are underdogs, but we'll give it a rip."

Tennis Channel will broadcast the action on Friday-Sunday, check the listings at www.tennischannel.com.


McHale to Open for U.S. Fed Cup vs. Azarenka, Belarus

FedCupLogoChristina McHale will open play for the U.S. Fed Cup team Saturday against Australian Open champion and new world No. 1 Victoria Azarenka of Belarus, as determined in the official draw ceremony for the U.S. vs. Belarus World Group II tie, which is being held Feb. 4-5 in Worcester, Mass.

Serena Williams will follow in the second singles match against Olga Govortsova.

The reverse singles matches will be held on Sunday, with Serena Williams taking on Azarenka first, followed by McHale vs. Govortsova. The doubles match will be the final match of the day and will feature Liezel Huber and Venus Williams against Azarenka and Govortsova.

Here are highlights from the pre-tie press conference:

SERENA WILLIAMS ON FACING NEW NO. 1 VICTORIA AZARENKA:
"Yeah, I feel fine. I played a lot of No. 1's. It doesn't change anything."

CHRISTINA MCHALE ON FACING AZARENKA AGAIN:
"The last time we played, she had an injury so she had to pull out. I'm excited to play. We'll see what happens."

SERENA WILLIAMS ON HER ONGOING ANKLE INJURY:
"The ankle is better. Every day it's feeling better. It's not a hundred percent. But it's better than it was last week and two weeks ago. It just needs time to heal...I've been doing more than I would have done with an injury like this because I knew I had Fed Cup coming up. That being said, I just keep going with it. Pretty much the same training regimen."

SERENA WILLIAMS ON SISTER VENUS RETURNING FROM ILLNESS:
"She's coming along awesome. She's doing really well. I know she's training every day. She's not wanting to take it too fast, come back too soon. But she's been training
every day since before Colombia, so I know she's going to be ready."

VENUS WILLIAMS ON VENUS WILLIAMS:
"I'm feeling better every week. I'm feeling this week the best I've ever felt. It's definitely difficult not being on the court, especially when there's not much to be done about it, when it's completely out of my control. It is good to be here, especially since last year [in Stuttgart] I couldn't play. In Germany, I was standing on the sidelines, which was tough because I couldn't help the team at all. This year it's great being in a position to help."

U.S. CAPTAIN MARY JOE FERNANDEZ ON THE BELARUS TEAM:
"It's a tough match-up, having Azarenka coming off winning the Australian Open. She's confident. That's always tough. Then their other players are good. Yakimova, Govortsova have been in the Top 100. I think Yakimova is around 60 in the world. They have different game styles so we'll see who they choose to play. We'll do our best. We'll prepare as well as we can. We'll get ready to take each match at a time."


 
 

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