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July 12, 2016

Mike Bryan

Bob Bryan

Jim Courier

John Isner

Jack Sock

Portland, Oregon

THE MODERATOR: We'll to the U.S. team. We'll take our first question.

Q. We were excited to see you all out last night at the fun fair. Any highlights or special moments for you?
JOHN ISNER: It was a lot of fun. I think the best part, the most rewarding part, is seeing all the smiles on all the kids' faces. Playing on the short court, everyone is able to hit the ball over the net with the soft balls. It was a good time.

I felt like everyone had a good time, including us. Like I said, a lot of smiles all around. That's what I liked about it.

Q. Short turnaround from Wimbledon, but you do get to come home and play a Davis Cup tie in the United States. How exciting is it to be able to get back home to play a big match?
JACK SOCK: Yeah, I mean, obviously we were all in London for a while, even playing warmup tournaments, some of the guys.

We were all excited to get back in the States for sure. Our favorite time of the year is to play in front of the home crowd here in the States.

Especially for me, it's my first home tie. I played two ties kind of far away. For me, it will be nice to play in front of a home crowd and be on a team with all these guys. I think we're all looking forward to it.

Q. Davis Cup is famed for producing upsets. I believe the last time a team won the Davis Cup without a top-10 player was in the 1970s. Could you tell me why you think you guys are the team that could change that trend.
CAPTAIN COURIER: Well, I think Davis Cup is also pretty unique in that the home-field advantage can play a big role. We've played a lot of tough teams, some home, but a lot on the road as well.

For us to have a chance now to play here against a tough team in Croatia, and should we get through this weekend, which we obviously are here to do, and hope to, we'd have a home match against France or the Czechs.

You pay your dues in Davis Cup. You go on the road and try and get your wins, but you also earn the chance to play at home by playing those matches, too.

Draws matter. Team chemistry and makeup matters. We have four guys here that love to play for their country. I have a lot of confidence in them as the captain, which is why we're sitting here. I believe we can win this Davis Cup.

I think this year is a really good opportunity for us. We can't go more than one step at a time, but it certainly looks promising if we can get through this weekend.

Q. Throughout most of the year the Bryans are playing together in doubles, but everybody else is playing individually. What is the difference between doing that and coming and playing in a team setting?
MIKE BRYAN: I think it's just a lot more exciting to be with a bunch of guys that you're playing for. They got your back, you got their back. It just adds more fun to the competition.

I mean, when you're playing for yourself, you're winning and losing for yourself. To add that added emphasis to do it for your captain and teammates is why we love playing Davis Cup. Then you put the country on top, it makes it extra special.

Q. Davis Cup certainly here in the U.S. can struggle to get attention. A few years ago the idea was floated to change the format into a World Cup of Tennis, a two-week fifth major kind of thing. Jim, what do you think of that idea? Is it viable, a good idea, bad idea, and why?
CAPTAIN COURIER: Davis Cup format has been a discussion point for the players since Open tennis began. You can go back and get quotes from Stan Smith on the challenges that the Davis Cup schedule puts on the players.

When you put it in an Olympic year, like this year, you look at the calendar, you see why Andy Murray and Novak Djokovic are both declining to play this week for their countries, and they're players who typically play a lot of Davis Cup. You can see why those challenges still exist in a pretty crowded calendar.

The new president of the ITF, Dave Haggerty, was president of the US Tennis Association. He's very progressive, and I think you'll see change. It will be incremental change. It won't come tomorrow. But I think you'll see the ball start to roll towards a new look in Davis Cup that is a little bit more of the times.

You have to remember the Davis Cup started in 1900, long before the Masters, long before many massive sporting events like the Ryder Cup.

Davis Cup will need to change if it wants to get more attention. It's still a wonderful event. It will be a tremendous event here this weekend. The people in attendance will absolutely love it. We'll love it. But there will be a lot of people on the east coast of America that won't be aware that it's taking place, which is one of the things that I think a change in format would bring for Davis Cup, more attention, not to mention it would make more money, which for the ITF would do wonders for the growth of the game.

I have a lot of thoughts on it. It's on the record. You can look up my comments from years and years and years ago on Davis Cup. But I'm sitting here because I love to be a part of it, even in its current format.

Davis Cup succeeds largely in spite of the format, not because of it.

Q. Jim, looking specifically at the Croatians, are there any strategic game plan ideas that you can actually share with us at all in singles or doubles?
CAPTAIN COURIER: No. There are lots of game plans. I'm sure they'll have game plans. We'll have game plans. But it's not for public consumption obviously.

What would you like to know?

Q. You've got some good insight into the matchups?
CAPTAIN COURIER: Hope so. Hope so.

Q. We're just looking for tidbits.
CAPTAIN COURIER: Look, it's pretty clear what our strengths are. Bob and Mike on the court are just so complete. They move in sync. They make it very difficult for other teams to hit winners. They extract a lot of errors. Bob and Mike will do their normal dance out there, which is a thing of beauty to watch. It's been incredible to be a captain and witness what they're able to do for us.

Jack and John, although the heights are a little bit different, the style and the strengths are very similar. Serves and forehands are the shots. They're the ones that will cause opponents to lose sleep.

That gives me great comfort as a captain because that was my bread and butter, too. I think I have a pretty good understanding of how they need to play and what they do on the court well.

The other team, just to give you a quick overview, Marin Cilic, big server, solid off both wings on the ground, moves pretty well for a big guy. Obviously has tasted sweet success at slams and tasted some frustration last week at Wimbledon when he had three match points against Federer.

How will that impact him here? We'll only know come Friday when he gets back on the court, because that's the only way to figure that out.

Coric, probably a better backhand than forehand. Moves well. Very hungry, very professional for a 19-year-old. He's a rising star who won the fifth match for these guys earlier this year. Has good Davis Cup experience.

Not sure what we'll face doubles-wise. We know Ivan Dodig is a terrific doubles player. He has been one of the top doubles players for a long time. So not sure who he'll match up with. Not sure what the composition of their team will be come Thursday when they have to tell us, because they have another player named Skugor, who has played for them, who is also here with them on site. So they have five players.

There is a lot of unknowables right now on the doubles format. Cilic is a good doubles player. He could find himself on the court on Saturday, too.

That's my overview.

Q. Jack and John, Sam kind of reminded us that the gap between the top couple players and the guys ranked 30, 40, 50 isn't really all that great. Could you tell us what you feel you need to do to win the bigger tournaments and make that next leap up into the upper reaches of the rankings?
JACK SOCK: That was an incredible win by Sam. I think everyone sitting here, everyone in this room, is very happy for him.

Yeah, I mean, obviously the consistency from Novak and those other guys at the top is what separates them. I mean, they're doing it week in, week out, winning a majority of the tournaments, majority of the slams.

Yeah, I mean, the skill level could be very slim and anyone can kind of beat anyone on any given day. It's probably the little things, the preparation and everything that goes into it, might be a couple levels better, a hair better. That can make the difference.

For myself personally, obviously everyone here, everyone's always trying to improve and do the little things the best they can. Doing that week in, week out can only help us. Hopefully that gap will close sooner than later.

JOHN ISNER: Jack said it. It's about consistency. Myself and Jack are very capable of having some very good weeks on the tour, going deep into some big tournaments. But these guys do it week in and week out. That's really what separates them from everyone else. It's what makes them the toughest out in tennis.

You know when you step on the court against them, you're going to be up against a very high level of talent and dedication. Also these guys mentally are so strong and have been doing it for so long, always have a lot of confidence because they have a lot of wins behind them.

It's all about being consistent. It's what those guys do remarkably well. As Jack eluded to, we see these guys in the locker room, on the practice courts. They're extremely professional. It's one of the reasons they're top in the world, is because they do absolutely everything right.

Q. Any plans to enjoy Portland over the rest of the week?
BOB BRYAN: Well, I got in Friday. I went to Washington Park. I saw the zoo, which was impressive. I've been to zoos all over the world. The Oregon zoo is one of the best. The kids really enjoyed it.

We got a lot of stuff lined up for this week with practice, gym, dinners. I'll be focused on that. My wife, kids and parents will be running around town doing the sight-seeing. We're out of here Monday.

I'm not going to be the sightseer, but maybe next time.


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