The USTA and U.S. Davis Cup Captain Jim Courier announced today that world No. 8 Mardy Fish, No. 10 John Isner, and the top-ranked doubles team of Bob Bryan and Mike Bryan will represent the United States in the 2012 Davis Cup by BNP Paribas Quarterfinal tie against France, April 6-8. The tie will be played on an outdoor red clay court at the Monte Carlo Country Club in Roquebrune Cap Martin, France.
France announced their roster of No. 6 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, No. 14 Gael Monfils, No. 33 Julien Benneteau and No. 43 Michael Llodra earlier today.
“France has a deep and talented team and we know it will be a big challenge for our squad in Monte Carlo,” said Courier, who is serving his second year as U.S. Davis Cup Captain. “Our guys understand what we are up against and we will be ready to leave everything we have on the court.”
Matches will be streamed live on USTA.com and telecast live on Tennis Channel starting at 6 a.m. ET, Friday, 8 a.m. ET Saturday and 5 a.m. ET Sunday. It is the first time that the USTA is streaming Davis Cup matches and the first time live streaming of Davis Cup in the United States is free.
The opening day of play in the best-of-five match series features each country’s No. 1 singles player against the No. 2 player from the opposing country. The pivotal doubles match is played Saturday, followed by Sunday’s “reverse singles,” starting with each country’s No. 1 player squaring off followed by the No. 2 players in the fifth and final match.
This quarterfinal tie will mark the 16th matchup overall between the U.S. and France in Davis Cup competition. The U.S. leads the overall series 8-7, with the last meeting taking place in the 2008 World Group Quarterfinal in Winston-Salem, N.C. The U.S. won that tie, 4-1, on an indoor hard court behind a team of Andy Roddick, James Blake, and the Bryan brothers. The United States defeated France in the 1982 Davis Cup Final in Grenoble – its only win against the French in France.
The winner of this match will face the winner of the quarterfinal between Spain and Austria. If the U.S. wins, it will either travel to Spain or host Austria in the semifinals, September 14-16.
Fish, 30, is 7-7 in Davis Cup singles play and will compete as the U.S. team’s No. 1 singles player for the fourth consecutive Davis Cup tie and the fifth time overall. In February’s World Group First Round versus Switzerland, Fish competed in the third-longest match in U.S. Davis Cup history since the introduction of the tiebreak in 1989 by defeating Stanislas Wawrinka in five sets that spanned four hours and 26 minutes. In the 2010 World Group Playoff against Colombia, Fish, playing at the No. 1 position, became the first U.S. player to win three live rubbers in a single tie since Pete Sampras in the 1995 final, as he played more than 11 hours of tennis and won two five-set singles matches and a five-set doubles match with John Isner. Fish helped the U.S. reach the 2004 Davis Cup Final and that same year, he won the silver medal at the Olympics in Athens. Fish is currently ranked No. 8 on the ATP World Tour and is coming off his most successful year as a pro that saw him crack the Top 10 and capture the Emirates Airline US Open Series title.
Isner, 26, will be competing in his fifth Davis Cup tie and is 3-3 in singles and 2-0 in doubles. Currently ranked a career-high No. 10 in the world, Isner is playing the best tennis of his career, having defeated Roger Federer in the U.S. Davis Cup team’s first round win at Switzerland in February and world No. 1 Novak Djokovic in the semifinals of the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells last week. The tallest player in U.S. Davis Cup history at 6-foot-9, Isner made his Davis Cup debut in the 2010 World Group First Round in Serbia where he became the first U.S. player to compete in three live rubbers in the same tie since James Blake in the 2003 first round. He turned professional after an outstanding four-year career at the University of Georgia, leading the Bulldogs to the 2007 NCAA team title as a senior.
Bob Bryan, 33, half of the world’s top-ranked doubles team, holds a 19-2 double record in Davis Cup and an 18-2 record with twin brother, Mike. He is also 4-2 in singles (all dead rubbers). Bob did not compete in February’s first round match at Switzerland due to the birth of his daughter. In 2009, the Bryans’ win in the Davis Cup first round versus Switzerland put them first all-time in U.S. Davis Cup history with 15 doubles wins as a team and they are the only brothers to pair in victory for the U.S. In 2010, Bob and Mike broke the all-time Open era record of 62 team doubles titles after winning the Emirates Airline US Open Series event in Los Angeles and have since extended their record to 76 doubles titles. Last year, the Bryan brothers won the Australian Open and Wimbledon, their 10th and 11th Grand Slam doubles titles, respectively.
Mike Bryan, 33, played without twin brother Bob for just the second time in his Davis Cup career during the 2012 World Group First Round, where he teamed with Fish to defeat 2008 Olympic doubles gold medalists Federer and Wawrinka to clinch the tie for the U.S. Mike holds a 20-2 record in Davis Cup doubles matches and is 18-2 with Bob (Mike partnered with Fish in the 2008 semifinal against Spain). He played in 19 consecutive doubles matches for the U.S. Davis Cup team since he and Bob joined the team in September 2003 until suffering from food poisoning before the 2010 World Group First Round in Serbia (Isner replaced Mike and teamed with Bob). The Bryan brothers currently share the No. 1 doubles ranking and finished six of the past seven years as the top-ranked doubles team in the world.
Founded in 1900, Davis Cup is the world’s largest annual international men’s team competition with 125 nations competing this year. The U.S. leads all nations with 32 Davis Cup titles.