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January 31, 2017

Jim Courier

Jack Sock

John Isner

Sam Querrey

Steve Johnson

Birmingham, Alabama

THE MODERATOR: We welcome the U.S. team to Birmingham. We'll take questions, please.

Q. There are some individuals who are uninitiated who might believe with the ranking of your players that this is kind of a gimme. There are no gimme's in Davis Cup, are there?
CAPTAIN COURIER: That's correct. Now, rankings don't mean anything. Once you get on the court, the ball doesn't care what your ranking is. You have to hit the shots and win the points.

We come in ready to play and ready to fight for every point. We don't expect it to be easy.

Q. With that having been said, are there advantages you feel your team has, beyond playing on home soil?
CAPTAIN COURIER: Well, we're confident. We're confident that we have four great players here ready to go to battle in five matches.

It's nice to play at home, of course. Nice to have a facility that we like, like this, a court that we like, like this. It's not always the case.

Q. John, can you comment, as well.
JOHN ISNER: Yeah, I mean, we're all comfortable playing in the United States. We all enjoy Birmingham very much. Me, in particular. This is SEC country, so I like that.

But this town is awesome. We can sort of feel the enthusiasm already. We had the kids' clinic yesterday. They were all into it. We're expecting a good crowd. That's going to help us out a lot, as well.

As Jim said, apart from playing here, our team is very capable, four very capable singles players. I think Jim has a lot of very good options at his disposal.

Q. On the subject of those options, you obviously don't have anyone named 'Bryan' to play doubles for you on Saturday. Can you say now which way you're going on that?
CAPTAIN COURIER: No. We'll announce that on Thursday when the draw comes out.

Q. Is there an advantage to that not being a lead pipe cinch at this point?
CAPTAIN COURIER: We were blessed to have Bob and Mike on our team for so many years. They're incredible. We'll miss them for sure.

I have a lot of confidence in these guys. Any combination of these four players would be a very, very good doubles team.

It is different to not have Bob and Mike here. I wouldn't say it's better, but I would say that we feel comfortable that we have great options at our disposal for all of the matches.

Q. Who among you was not here when last this event took place here?
SAM QUERREY: I think everyone.

CAPTAIN COURIER: I was here. I just came to watch.

JOHN ISNER: He bought a ticket and sat in the nosebleeds (laughter).

Q. Steve, if you are called upon, talk to me a little bit about the experience of being an active part of this event.
STEVE JOHNSON: I mean, it's just fun to be part of a team again. I played college for four years, so I enjoy the team environment.

If my name is called, I'm ready. I'm here to support everybody. We're here to get three wins. Just happy to be here.

Q. Coach, you were here eight years ago. What have you told these guys about what to expect crowd-wise for the arena?
CAPTAIN COURIER: I haven't given them a lot of warning about the enthusiasm of the crowd. I think we're pretty used to, when we play at home, having a very active crowd behind us. We certainly expect that here again.

When I came to watch as a spectator eight years ago, it was magnificent. The energy in the building was fantastic. We certainly hope to replicate that this weekend.

It's one of the things I think we all enjoy so much about Davis Cup, is how different it is from a normal tournament, how much more the crowd is active, how much they really give the home team a boost.

I certainly saw that when I was here watching eight years ago. I'm looking forward to Friday when we step into battle, to have that crowd right behind us.

Q. John, you already mentioned the SEC factor for you. Would you care to let everybody know where your allegiances lie in the Southeastern Conference.
JOHN ISNER: I don't have a horse in the Auburn-Alabama race. It's all Georgia for me, which is kind of neutral I think in this part of the country. I think I'll be all right.

But, no, of course, I'm a Bulldog through and through.

Q. I'm sure you follow it. You know how passionate SEC fans are. Is that something you look forward to, being a part of that again this week?
JOHN ISNER: I know the actual headquarters are right beside our hotel, as well. Actually Birmingham in particular, I haven't spent that much time here. I've been to Tuscaloosa, Auburn, quite a bit. Good to be in this part of the country for sure.

Q. What was it like to see games at those venues?
JOHN ISNER: I've never seen a game at Bryant-Denny. I've been to a Georgia game at Auburn before. It's unbelievable.

The SEC, they love their football. It's absolutely a religion down here. It's pretty cool.

Q. Obviously yours is not the only international event or major event taking place this weekend. Talk to me about your preference of getting this wrapped up prior to that other event that happens Sunday.
CAPTAIN COURIER: Jack, would you like to talk about that? I think he's talking about the Super Bowl.

JACK SOCK: Yeah, I mean, obviously I think we're all big football fans. I don't know if anyone is really a Patriots or Falcons fan here, but we definitely follow and keep a close eye on it.

Our priority is definitely to be in this tie and to try to get three wins, like I said. If we happen to be done in time, then I'm sure we'll all be viewing Sunday night, yeah. Focused on tennis first.

Q. Captain, how well do you know the four Swiss players that are here? What do you expect from the Swiss team this weekend?
CAPTAIN COURIER: We know Marco. Marco has been involved in some ties that we've played in. Laaksonen we know a little bit more of because we've seen him in some tour events.

The other players, we don't know too much about. We have a good network of players and coaches that are playing at various levels and are more aware of them than we are. We'll have good information on them by the time it's time to play ball.

Q. John, one more about Georgia. On Twitter and social media, you've talked about the importance of your time there. How much did that help you in your environment, being at Georgia?
JOHN ISNER: It helped me, in particular, a lot. I think I can speak for Steve as well. We weren't as good as Sam and Jack coming out of high school, so we both needed to go to college, get our education first and foremost, of course, and be a lot better at tennis, as well.

I think for me it was the right way to go. I'm very glad I stayed all four years.

Q. Jim, talking about Roger Federer from Sunday, I heard somebody comparing that to Nicklaus winning the Masters when he was 46. Is a 35-year-old winning a major, is it in that same sort of ballpark?
CAPTAIN COURIER: I haven't thought about it in those terms necessarily. But if you look at the history of the sport, the last player to win really at that level is back in 1974, Ken Rosewall, who was 37 years of age. The game is obviously a lot different now than it was then. It's a lot more physical. I would probably argue that this is a better achievement from an age standpoint. Then you look at Roger, he doesn't necessarily look like age is impacting him that much.

It's awesome for the sport. It's a great start to our season, to have Serena and Roger in the finals that they're in with Venus and Rafa. Obviously I would have preferred to have these guys in there. Short of an American in there, to have Rog do something like that, it gives a boost to our sport.

He's an amazing champion. To have him healthy, first and foremost, and then winning a title of that magnitude, it's memorable. It was a memorable tournament on a lot of levels. That was certainly a big piece to the puzzle.

Q. Sam, talk to me about how different Davis Cup is as compared to regular tennis, where as singles players you are basically in it for yourself as opposed to the team environment we find here.
SAM QUERREY: Hopefully you get that chance four times a year to play on the team. I know John and Stevie had that team kind of atmosphere in college. It's a lot of fun. It's an individual sport 90% of the year. So any time you can get together with a team and cheer everyone on, be part of something a little different, it's real exciting.

I think all of us are big team guys. It's special to be part of this group. I think we're all really fortunate to be here.


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