NIS, February 1, 2018
World No. 12 Sam Querrey will lead the U.S. Davis Cup Team into relatively unfamiliar territory against an unfamiliar opponent on Friday, having been drawn first against world No. 88 Laslo Djere to kick-start the United States’ World Group First Round tie against Serbia on indoor red clay in Nis.
Though Querrey is an eight-year Davis Cup veteran and played in both of the Americans’ ties vs. Serbia, including in the 2010 First Round in Belgrade, he has never played Djere, and no member of the U.S. team has ever played in Nis, a city of 186,000 located 150 miles southeast of the Serbian capital.
“First of all, we’ve never played here, this will be our first time. I’ve seen him play — he’s a talented player,” Querrey told about his opponent. “They’re playing on a surface that they like. We’ll go over the matchup tonight and come up with a game plan. As far as playing here, I’ve played in Belgrade. I’ve played Davis Cup in Belgrade and I’ve played the tournament in Belgrade, so I’ve experienced what those fans are like. About the Nis fans, I’m presuming that’s pretty comparable. Davis Cup, the crowds are always a little rowdier, and exciting, an so all of us will be ready for that.”
Isner To Face Lajovic
Things get a little more familiar in Friday’s second singles match, pitting No. 18 John Isner against No. 84 Dusan Lajovic. The American No. 2 and Serbian No. 1 have played four times, with Isner holding a 3-1 advantage, though seven of their 11 sets played went to tiebreak.
Isner told about playing against a Serbian team without Novak Djokovic: “I don’t think it’s a detriment, at all. Maybe on paper, because of the rankings, we might be favored, but these guys are at home. They’re playing on a surface that they chose, so we expect a very, very tough tie, and I think we all believe that they expect a tough tie, as well. We know we have our hands full. All of their players are very capable players. We’ve played a lot of these guys before, and especially on clay. For me in particular, going up against Dusan, I’ve played him a few times — two very, very close matches – really not much has separated us, so this team is very good, in my opinion, but I also think we’re a good team as well.”
This first round tie will be a third meeting for the two nations, with the Serbians having won both of their previous encounters – on clay in Belgrade in the 2010 World Group first round and on hard court in Boise, Idaho in the 2013 World Group quarterfinals.
— Davis Cup (@DavisCup) 1. Februar 2018
US-captain Jim Courier added: “We’re 0-2 and we’re here to try to at least get one on the board for the U.S., so we’re looking forward to the competition. We have a great team assembled here, and the guys have had a good week of practice, so we’re ready to go, and we’re looking forward to playing Serbia tomorrow.”
DAY / MATCH TIME
Friday, 3 p.m. (9 a.m. ET)
Singles A: Sam Querrey (USA) vs. Laslo Djere (SRB)
Singles B: John Isner (USA) vs. Dusan Lajovic (SRB)
Saturday, 3 p.m. (9 a.m. ET)
Doubles: Ryan Harrison/Steve Johnson (USA)
vs. Nicola Milojevic/Miljan Zekic (SRB)
Sunday, 2 p.m. (8 a.m. ET)
Singles C: Sam Querrey (USA) vs. Dusan Lajovic (SRB)
Singles D: John Isner (USA) vs. Laslo Djere (SRB)