DAVIS CUP Q&A
Melo & Soares Excited For Bryans Davis Cup Clash
by Matt Fitzgerald|
After a nine-year hiatus, Brazil is back in the Davis Cup World Group, and will look to play spoiler against the United States in Jacksonville, Fla. this weekend in a first-round tie.
A pair of Top 20 doubles players, Marcelo Melo and Bruno Soares, could play a pivotal role in the crucial doubles rubber when they face Bob Bryan and Mike Bryan. The American twins are 10-0 this season, but have lost two of their previous three meetings to the Brazilians. Melo and Soares are also among this season’s early winners, as Melo captured the Brisbane International title with Tommy Robredo and Soares triumphed at the Heineken Open in Auckland with Colin Fleming.
ATPWorldTour.com sat down with Melo and Soares, discussing the importance of getting their country back to the World Group, their upcoming clash with the Bryans and more…
How excited are you to bring your early season form together here at the Davis Cup?
Soares: We’re very excited. The Davis Cup is very important. It has a different atmosphere. We play as a team and it’s important that we all feel we are playing well. It’s the beginning of the season, so we haven’t played too many matches so far, but it’s very nice that Marcelo won his first tournament and he’s playing really well. And then I also won my first tournament, which gives us something to add up together. We’re playing the Bryans and they are undefeated this season. They just won another Grand Slam, but we know we’re playing well.
This is Brazil’s first time appearing in the World Group since 2004. What does it mean to have helped your country get back to the highest group in the competition?
Melo: It’s so great to be a part of this. Bruno and I have been part of the Davis Cup for many years, trying to fight to get here to the World Group. We are grateful to be here, and it’s a pleasure to be in the World Group, playing against the United States. I think it’s going to be a tough tie, for both teams.
You’ll have the tough task of trying to unseat the Bryan brothers, given their Davis Cup record. But as a team, you are 2-1 against them. How would you assess the match-up and what needs to happen on your end to have a chance of winning the rubber?
Soares: Like I said before, Davis Cup is different to a regular tournament. And they have one of the best, if not the best, Davis Cup doubles records. We’re feeling good, we like the conditions here. The court is a little fast, but we’re used to it. We like playing indoors, and we’re going to have to be on top of our game. If we play well, we will have a chance.
What does Team Brazil like to do during the week, before the rubbers begin? Do you have any special traditions or superstitions?
Melo: It’s just a simple week. We like to practise a lot. Here, it’s a little tougher, as we only have one court. But we work a lot as a team. We’re very close. We eat together and spend a lot of time with each other. There are no special traditions. We have jokes and fun with each other during the day, but nothing too crazy.
Which Davis Cup teammate, past or present, is most likely to…
Show up to practice the latest? We’re all very professional. If that happens, there would be a lot of pushups to do. Thomaz Bellucci is a little more relaxed, so maybe him.
Pull a prank on you? Marcelo Melo for sure.
Cry during a movie? Thiago Alves. He’s very sentimental.
Go samba dancing? Marcelo Melo. He’s a great dancer.
Become a future Davis Cup captain? Me! I’d love to do it eventually.
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