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DAVIS CUP BY BNP PARIBAS WORLD GROUP PLAY-OFF: SLOVAKIA v USA


September 9, 2014


Mike Bryan

Bob Bryan

Jim Courier

John Isner

Sam Querrey


CHICAGO, ILLINOIS

THE MODERATOR:  We will take questions for the U.S. Davis Cup team.

Q.  What is the transition like coming from a major, being outside, coming to a different dynamic and being inside?  Mike and Bob, especially.
BOB BRYAN:  Yeah, I mean, that's why we get here early.  We're here on Monday.  We have five days to prepare for the surface change, the indoors, the balls.
Usually when we show up, say, in Tokyo, we get there two days before.  So we're used to switching conditions pretty quickly.
The five days is just bonus.

Q.  Can you talk about playing here at home and how much support you really need behind you?  Tennis hasn't been in Illinois since 1928, how important that is.
MIKE BRYAN:  Yeah, it's really important.  We've actually never been to Chicago before.  It's good to be in the Midwest here.  I think the fans are going to come out.  It's probably going to be a good turnout.
We love playing in the U.S.  We love the fan support.  We play best when we have the energy and the fans behind us.  We look forward to getting back to the World Group.  That's where we belong with this team.  It's going to be a good match, a tough match.

Q.  Jim, what can fans expect from Davis Cup?  What are you expecting out of Slovakia?
CAPTAIN COURIER:  What fans can expect is a little bit of a different ambiance to a traditional tennis event.  This is a very partisan event, Davis Cup.  It's nation versus nation.  It's not inappropriate for the fans to dress in American flag paint, bring flags.  I'm not sure if the building is allowing flags in.  We've seen that in the past.  Buildings accommodate that.
It's one type of event where we encourage people to come and treat it more like it's a football or basketball game, be energetic and enthusiastic, while still being respectful to the other team.
I would imagine there will be some fans from Slovakia here.  There's probably a group of Slovakians that live in the Chicago area that will come and support their team and they'll be very vocal.
We find that the atmosphere is unique and special and worth attending even if you're not a tennis fan.  If you're a fan of American sports, it's a great atmosphere to be a part of.
The Slovakian team we know pretty well.  These guys have been on tour with their players for quite a while.  We expect a tough match.  They're an accomplished bunch.
Davis Cup, more than regular tour events, players can rise above their rankings and really play well.  We'll be ready for whatever they throw at us.

Q.  Bob and Mike, how are you feeling about winning your 100th doubles title at the US Open?
MIKE BRYAN:  Yeah, it obviously feels good.  We're riding high right now.  We've had a great few days after winning the Open.  We had a good time in New York.  Did a bunch of press yesterday.
We're shifting our focus.  It's just good to have that momentum and that confidence coming into a Davis Cup tie.  If we lost first round in the US Open, came here, we'd be a little anxious knowing that our tennis is not in place.
But we're feeling good and we're excited to play in a few days.  Just excited to get on the courts, shake it loose, get used to the conditions.

Q.  Jim, how much coaching is actually done?  Not so much technique as strategy?  How does that differ?
CAPTAIN COURIER:¬† Well, these guys all have full‑time coaches.¬† They're very well‑coached.¬† For me it's an opportunity to step in there and assist what they're already doing and help them mostly with strategy in real‑time if necessary.
Some of my best coaching is when I don't say anything.  Let them go if they're in a good place, too.
It's a unique deal.  We don't see this a lot in tennis.  This is the only event in men's tennis where coaching is allowed on court.  It's something that's an opportunity, a chance for hopefully me to help these guys get the most out of themselves and get the wins.

Q.  I think you mentioned being where you are right now, you certainly don't want to drop down.  John, you said maybe you took a little responsibility for February because you were injured.  Talk about maybe the pressure, for lack of a better word.  Talk about how big this is.
JOHN ISNER:  It's certainly a big tie for us.  We were in this situation, correct me if I'm wrong, in 2010 in Colombia.  Our team rose to the occasion and played a very good tie.
Certainly some pressure on us, but there's some pressure on them as well.  Neither one of us want to drop down from here.  It's a huge match.  A lot of countries this weekend playing in this same event we're at right now.
Certainly we want to get back to the world stage.  Mike said we do feel like we belong there, we've had a lot of success there.  We're certainly not taking this match lightly by any means.  We're going to put our best foot forward and see what can happen.

Q.  John, what is your favorite part of playing singles in the Davis Cup?
JOHN ISNER:  Yeah, I mean, for me I think it's the atmosphere.  As Jim alluded to earlier, it's very different from a normal tennis match.  Whether you're on the road and you have most of the crowd against you or you're at home and you have a lot of the crowd for you, it's very special.
Obviously you're not playing for yourself, you're playing for your teammates and for your country, which is the highest honor, in my opinion.
For me, I played some of my best tennis ever in Davis Cup.  Hopefully I can do that again this weekend.

Q.  Just outside of the Davis Cup, can you talk about the state of men's tennis in the U.S.  Obviously we all know it's been a while since an American man has won a Grand Slam.  This is a great event to showcase it.
CAPTAIN COURIER:  Who would like to take that one?  Samuel?
SAM QUERREY:  I'll go.
The guys back with Jim and Pete and Andre, they set the bar so high with us with all the Grand Slams.  I know John, myself, Steve Johnson, Jack Sock, Ryan Harrison, Donald Young, we're all working as hard as we can, we all want to compete for Grand Slams.  That's all we can really do, just work as hard as we can and try to compete with the best in the world.
I know that's what we're all doing.  We all have great coaches and great support.  Hopefully in the next couple years we can have guys in Grand Slam finals, compete for some of those titles like some of the other countries are.

Q.  Any fun in Chicago here?
CAPTAIN COURIER:  Hopefully win a match.
No, we're tucked in here.  Tucked on in.

Q.  Sam, yesterday you took part in a clinic with quite a few local kids from the Chicago area.  Talk about that and how you hope to inspire young kids.
SAM QUERREY:  Yeah, it was a clinic at a club not far from here.  They probably had 200 kids show up.  It was a great venue.  The kids were excited.  We were excited to be there.
That's part of playing on the Davis Cup team.  You're playing for your country.  You want to inspire these younger kids to come out and play tennis and watch.  Hopefully that got them excited yesterday.  It helps them with their tennis, makes them want to play more tournaments and stick with it.
That's how we got into it when we were younger, we watched pros play, went to clinics like that.  Hopefully it helps them a lot.

Q.  Bob and Mike, you went on the media tour of NewYork City yesterday.  Where did you go?
BOB BRYAN:  Started early at Bloomberg TV, Charlie Rose was the last one.
MIKE BRYAN:  Weather Channel.
BOB BRYAN:  Weather Channel.  Huffington Post.  We did some monsters.  CNN International.  Took a couple photos in the park.  Went to Facebook and got a tour and signed the wall.
No Fallon or Letterman, but it was cool.

Q.  What kind of response have you had to your camera commercial?
BOB BRYAN:  Yeah, people have been approaching us saying they like the commercial.  We actually did control those bots one afternoon from the hotel.  Went around Central Park doing tennis trivia with people.  Seven out of eight people just ran from those bots.  They were pretty scared of them.
Obviously, it is a great partnership with esurance.
CAPTAIN COURIER:  Thank you, everybody.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports




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