Isner: “We’ll believe that we can win”
Originally published on: 10/04/12 09:35
The hero for the US Davis Cup team for the second straight tie after helping his nation past France in Monte Carlo, John Isner believes the Americans have a chance to derail five-time champions Spain come the semi-finals in September.
Isner, who had bested Roger Federer to help Jim Courier’s men defeat Switzerland in the first round in February, won his opener against world No.13 Gilles Simon and – after the Bryan brothers had seen off Julien Benneteau and Michael Llodra in straight sets – defeated Jo-Wilfried Tsonga for the second time in their three career meetings to clinch the tie.
That leaves the US with the prospect of a third successive clay tie away from home and while captain Courier concedes “we’d probably lose it on paper”, Isner says the US team will approach the daunting tie with the same desire that has carried them past Switzerland and France.
“Just like France, and probably even more so, [Spain] can throw anybody out there. They’re so deep, that country,” admitted the 26-year-old Tampa resident. “But whoever we go up against, whatever the conditions are, we’re going to go out there and we’re going to believe that we’re going to win. That’s what we’ve done these first two rounds. People didn’t think we could beat Switzerland. I’m sure there were people that didn’t think we could beat France. So we’ll go into that match very confident and obviously ready to go.”
Courier, meanwhile, suggests his team have already exceeded expectations as they bid to reach their first Davis Cup final since 2007, when they defeated Russia to win the competition for the 32nd time.
“We’ve had the worst (Davis Cup) draw than you can possibly imagine so far,” he told the Davis Cup website. “I’m shocked that we’re still in the Davis Cup this year. Honestly, at the beginning of the year it was my hope that we would be able to stay in the World Group. I mean, Switzerland away you would think we’d probably lose that match, and when we got past Switzerland we thought maybe we’d have a chance but thought we’d lose this one as well.
“Spain, we’d probably lose it on paper,” Courier continued. “But they don’t play it on paper. We have to play it and we have players who are capable and passionate and hungry. We’re going to be the underdog but we’ll be ready to play.”