Courier: U.S. favorites over Britain, but not over Murray

by: Matt Cronin December 06, 2013

AP Photo

United States Davis Cup captain Jim Courier says his team will be the favorite when they face Great Britain on January 31-February 2 at PetCo Park in San Diego. The U.S. team will likely feature No. 14 John Isner and No. 46 Sam Querrey in singles and the top-ranked doubles team of Bob and Mike Bryan. Great Britain hopes to field Wimbledon champion Andy Murray, and will likely pick between two players just outside of the Top 150, Dan Evans and James Ward, for the second singles spot. Colin Fleming, the world No. 27 in doubles, is also likely to compete.

“I think the United States is favored in three-out-of-five matches, so we would be the favorites,” Courier said. “I think fitness is going to be a key factor here. Our team by and large the last years has been John, Sam, Mike, and Bob, and that’s what I expect for the foreseeable future if everyone is healthy.”

Courier said the reason the U.S. team chose clay over a faster surface is because this American group has done better on dirt than the British group has overall.

“I think if you look at their results versus our team’s comfort zone, their results tend to come more on the firm surfaces, and our results come on firm surfaces and on the clay,” he said. “You have to assume that Andy Murray is going to be very, very difficult to play no matter what surface you play him on. So you look to the other elements there, the doubles, the second singles. On paper we have a big advantage in those slots. We’re certainly going to be underdogs against Murray no matter where we play him. But clay is a surface that all four of our guys wanted to play this tie on, so that’s why we’re doing it.”

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