SAN DIEGO (AP) — U.S. captain Jim Courier is impressed by the setting where his team will face a British team highlighted by Wimbledon champion Andy Murray in the first round of the Davis Cup.
A clay court has been set up in left field of the San Diego Padres’ ballpark for this weekend’s matches. It’s the first time Davis Cup matches will be played in an open-air baseball stadium.
“This is one of the most unique and beautiful tennis settings I think we’ll experience in our lifetime,” Courier said Tuesday at Petco Park. “This is spectacular to be able to be in this ballpark and just have an incredible tennis facility pop up out of nowhere.
“It’s going to be special not only for us playing, but I think for the spectators that get to come and experience it, too. It’s going to be one that we’ll all look back on hopefully fondly because we’ll have won, but certainly the experience of playing here in San Diego will be a special one.”
Courier won a pair of French Open titles on the Roland Garros clay. But that’s not why the Americans chose the surface.
“It’s these four guys right here,” Courier said, indicating singles players John Isner and Sam Querrey and the doubles team of twins Bob and Mike Bryan.
It’s also a surface Great Britain’s top player, Murray, is less comfortable on. Murray, who’s ranked No. 4, prefers the quicker grass and hard courts. His teammates are James Ward, Kyle Edmund and Colin Fleming.
“We obviously know a lot about Andy Murray on our side; these guys have seen a lot of him,” Courier said. “We don’t know as much about the rest of singles players and we’ll learn more as we go over the weekend.
“But it is going to be a challenge for us because even if you don’t recognize too many of the guys other than Murray on their team, we all know what Davis Cup means to people and what it brings out in other teams. We’ve experienced some heartbreak at the hands of some people that most tennis fans don’t know a lot about. So we can’t underestimate anything or anyone in this setting. We know they are going to be tough.”
The best-of-five matches are Friday through Sunday. Thursday’s draw will determine the order of singles play.
Britain and the U.S. played the first Davis Cup match in 1900. They have met 18 times, with the Americans leading 11-7.
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