WHITE PLAINS, February 11, 2020 (USTA Press Release)
The USTA and U.S. Davis Cup captain Mardy Fish announced that doubles legends Bob and Mike Bryan and rising stars Taylor Fritz, Reilly Opelka and Tommy Paul will compete for the U.S. Davis Cup team in its 2020 Davis Cup Qualifying matches vs. Uzbekistan March 6-7 at Blaisdell Center in Honolulu.
The Bryans – regarded as the best doubles team of all time, with 16 Grand Slam titles, 118 ATP tournament titles and more than 1,100 match wins together – plan on retiring following the 2020 US Open, ending a 25-year pro career that includes a Davis Cup title in 2007.
Fritz and Opelka both made their Davis Cup debuts at the 2019 Madrid Finals, while Paul will be making his in Honolulu. All three are 22 years old and are among the youngest players ranked in the Top 100, giving this Davis Cup squad a unique blend of veteran experience and youthful talent.
The Qualifying competition vs. Uzbekistan is a best-of-five match series played over two days, with each country bringing a team of four or five players. The ‘tie,’ as it’s called, begins Friday, March 6, with two singles matches between each country’s No. 1- and No. 2-nominated players. The doubles match and two reverse singles matches, between each country’s No. 1s and each country’s No. 2s, will follow on Saturday, March 7. Saturday’s schedule could be amended should either team clinch victory in the third of fourth match.
Matches will be played indoors at the Blaisdell Center on a temporary hard court. The winner of this matchup advances to the 2020 Davis Cup by Rakuten Finals in November in Madrid to compete for the world championship. This will be the second year of this new format for the Finals – similar to the World Cup, in which 18 nations converge on one venue to compete for the title.
The Bryans, both 41, have a 24-5 record together in Davis Cup doubles and first represented the U.S. in Davis Cup in 2003. They’re Nos. 1 and 2 in all-time U.S. Davis Cup appearances, with Mike’s 33 leading Bob’s 31, and together they helped lead the U.S. to the its record 32nd Davis Cup title in 2007. The Bryans last played Davis Cup together in 2016, after which they retired from the international team competition, though Mike returned to play in the 2018 Semifinals vs. Croatia while Bob recovered from hip surgery.
Fritz had a 2019 season in which he won his first ATP title and reached two additional ATP finals to make his Top 25 debut, becoming the youngest American in the Top 25 since Andy Roddick in 2004. Opelka also won his first ATP singles title in 2019 and reached two additional ATP semifinals. They both played in their first Davis Cup matches at the 2019 Madrid Finals, where Fritz defeated world No. 8 Matteo Berrettini of Italy. Paul, meanwhile, has gone 7-2 to open 2020 and upset world No. 20 Grigor Dimitrov to reach the third round of the Australian Open. All three were highly successful junior players, with each winning a junior Grand Slam title in 2015 (Paul at the French Open, Opelka at Wimbledon and Fritz at the US Open).
Davis Cup’s return to Hawaii in 2020 comes as part of multi-year agreement made by Hawaii Tourism Authority to be the lead local sponsor of any Davis Cup Qualifying ties hosted by the United States between 2020-22. Therefore, should the U.S. host a Davis Cup Qualifier in February or March of 2021 or 2022, that event will also be played in Hawaii.