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February 2, 2017

Jim Courier

John Isner

Sam Querrey

Jack Sock

Steve Johnson

Birmingham, Alabama

THE MODERATOR: We'll take questions for the U.S. team.

Q. Captain Courier, your decisions as No. 1, No. 2 players, what went into those decisions?
CAPTAIN COURIER: The ranking kind of mandates who plays one and two based on who we pick out of the four players. So we went with our top two players. We're feeling pretty good with them. We feel actually quite good with all the guys up here, so we couldn't have made a bad choice.

Q. As you look at the players on the other side, any matchup advantages you see or concerns from the other side?
CAPTAIN COURIER: The players who have been picked to play are who we expected from them. No surprises there.

We know they're going to be tough. They're experienced. They've played plenty of Davis Cup. Our guys are going to have to be ready from the first ball to the last ball.

Q. Jim, 10 years ago we won the Davis Cup. We had a team represented by the Bryan brothers, Andy Roddick, James Blake. Andy going into the Hall of Fame, the Bryans stating they have retired from Davis Cup competition, James obviously will be here this weekend but in another capacity. I believe John and Sam, you probably hit with that team 10 years ago at certain ties. You're seeing a lot of younger players coming up now even behind John, Sam, Steve and Jack. How do you think this bodes for Davis Cup potential for the U.S. moving forward?
CAPTAIN COURIER: First of all, we've been unbelievably lucky to have a great generation of Davis Cup players in Andy and James and Mardy and Bob and Mike Bryan that did great things for this country. They've passed that baton now off to these guys.

It's the turn and the privilege of these four players I'm sitting with right now to carry American tennis fans and the American flag for us. They're ready for it. These guys are battle-tested, they're veterans on tour, and they're ready for this responsibility.

It's a great privilege to go out there and play for the United States. These guys are anxious to do that. They've answered the call every time they've been asked to play for the U.S. I expect that will continue to be the path.

So it's an exciting new time for us as a team. There's no doubt that we're indebted to the great service of Bob and Mike Bryan. I hope they continue to play great as long as they're still on tour.

We'll miss them on this team, but I feel confident in the group we have assembled here and their capabilities both in singles and doubles. We have a lot of options at our disposal now, where you're a little bit more limited when you go with two doubles players and two singles players from an injury standpoint.

There are pluses and minuses. Fortunately we never got into a position with Bob and Mike where we had an injury issue that impacted us as a team.

But we're looking forward to what this year will bring. 2017, we're excited to start at home. We need to get off to a good start obviously. We won't take anything for granted. We'll be ready to play, as I mentioned. But it's a new page, a new chapter in the U.S. Davis Cup team. It starts right here, right now.

Q. John and Sam, any specific memories or thoughts from 10 years ago? John, I think you were in Portland. Sam, you hit at two of the ties. Sam, where you in Portland?
SAM QUERREY: I wasn't in Portland.

Q. Any specific thoughts from that year?
SAM QUERREY: No specific thoughts. It was fun to be a practice partner and be around those guys. I got to do it a handful of times. John did. Both these guys did.

To be part of that, to get to experience it was amazing. I think all the young guys wait and love to get that call to be a practice partner for their first time.

It was an amazing team they had. Hopefully this group up here can duplicate that and take another Davis Cup.

JOHN ISNER: It was a lot of fun to be a small part of that 2007 team. Sam and I were practice partners together I believe in the semifinals in Sweden. I was lucky enough to go to the Finals in Portland.

I got to see firsthand how dedicated those guys were and how much it meant to them. More than anything, of course all the guys work extremely hard, they were the best American players we had. It meant so much to them. I got to see how happy they were to experience winning the Davis Cup.

Even then, 2007, I never thought it was possible that I would actually be on the Davis Cup team. But I've been fortunate enough to play in a lot of ties now. It's certainly an honor. To be able to achieve something like that obviously is extremely tough, but would be especially memorable for me and I think everyone up here at this table.

Q. Jim, there is a bright light that seems to be in front of American tennis at this point. I would daresay it's probably closer to be a sunrise than a sunset. Not dismissing the team you have with you now, but looking toward the future, I understand there are a number of young guys coming up in the sport. Talk a little bit about the future of American tennis relative to Davis Cup.
CAPTAIN COURIER: You're looking at the present and the future of it right here, for starters. The even better news is that we have a cluster of 18, 19 and 20-year-olds that are starting to make their way onto the tour, starting to get through the challengers, move up to tour level.

I was lucky enough to come through a generation that pushed each other. We had a cluster back then. We were able to push each other to great heights. It can only benefit American tennis if we have this young group here.

I know these guys are very proud of their positions that they've earned in the sport. They're not going to let those youngsters come up and take them easily either.

That will be fun, I think, to see everyone pushing in the same direction, to try to get a few more names on the sports pages for American tennis. That would be a good thing, for sure.

But there's a lot of work ahead of those youngsters, too. I'm fortunate enough to get a chance to see a lot of it down in Orlando at the new home of American tennis. A lot of them are training there. Jack has been there, as well, to check it out.

We're in the beginning stages of seeing some nice transition from juniors to professional tennis from a big group of players. That will be very fun to watch.

Q. Obviously a number of countries will have a top player, then other people fill in behind them. You've talked a little bit about what looks to be a number of young players who are coming up. Not trying to push you out the door, but how long do you see yourself in the current position?
CAPTAIN COURIER: As a captain?

Q. Yes, sir.
CAPTAIN COURIER: I have a one-year contract, so I don't know. But I love being the captain of this team. It's a privilege. This is my seventh year with these guys. I'm hoping that we're going to win a title. That's always been the goal. That remains the goal. As long as I'm here, whoever else is here, that will always be our goal as a team, obviously.


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