DAVIS CUP WORLD GROUP FIRST ROUND 2012
Americans Relishing Federer Challenge
by ATP Staff|
The USA begins its campaign to win a 33rd Davis Cup title with a testing first-round clash away to Switzerland this weekend, and it’s a challenge that both Mardy Fish and John Isner are relishing. The Americans will be faced with World No. 3 Roger Federer and No. 28 Stanislas Wawrinka on a specially laid clay-court in Fribourg, Switzerland.
Discussing the challenge of playing 2009 Roland Garros champion Federer, World No. 8 Fish commented, "He has been the second best clay-court player in a while for sure. For a bunch of years, he has been head and shoulders the second best player behind Rafa [Nadal] and has beaten him on clay. Clay is obviously one of his strengths. This surface, this altitude and these balls will certainly play a little faster and hopefully help us."
The No. 1 American is coming off a second-round loss to Alejandro Falla at the Australian Open and has just two matches under his belt this season as he prepares to play his 11th Davis Cup tie. "Any time you start with a Slam, you are going to want to perform well there. I didn’t play well down there, and I am excited to get back on the court again. I’ve got to get back on the horse, try to win some matches. There is no better place to do it than here."
World No. 17 Isner reached the third round in Melbourne, losing in five sets to Feliciano Lopez, and is set to represent the USA for just the fourth time. In his last appearance, he helped his nation to a first-round win away to Chile on clay in Santiago last year.
"Any time you are playing against a team that has Roger as part of the squad, it is going to be tough, and we are not playing at home," said the 26-year-old Isner. "But we are definitely capable of coming out here, playing well and coming out with a win. That is why we travelled all this way. We certainly have our work cut out for us. It is not the easiest match, for sure, but we are looking forward to it, and we are all going to take the court confident and see what we can do."
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