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April 2, 2013
THE MODERATOR:¬† Thanks everyone for joining us.¬† Questions for Jim and the players.
Q.¬† Almost all of you except for Jim and Mike played Serbia before.¬† Can you talk about how you feel like you have evolved as a team since then.
SAM QUERREY:¬† Yeah, we were all there.¬† Both these guys were here even though only Bob was playing.¬† But it was a tight tie.¬† John lost a tight five‑setter to Novak which could have gone either way.
So I think we're a better team now.¬† I think all of us are playing better.¬† I think we like our chances.¬† I think if we play aggressive and play well, we can win this tie.
We've always been close.¬† Even outside of Davis Cup, we hang a lot, go out to dinner.¬† We kind of feel like the team part of it is not just during the Davis Cup weeks, it's kind of a year‑long thing.¬† We're always tight, always close, always cheering each other on.
I think we're ready for this week.
Q.¬† Mike and Bob, just talk about your experiences with the Idaho Sneakers and returning to Boise.
MIKE BRYAN:¬† We were here 15 years ago.¬† Stayed at the same hotel.¬† Played in that little arena where we were watching the ice hockey, the D‑league basketball.¬† Had a great time.
It's a beautiful city.¬† We went river rafting, hiking in the mountains.¬† So we're happy to be back.¬† This will be a little bit more big‑time than that.¬† We're looking forward to a great tie.
Q.¬† Jim, can you tell us about when the team arrived and what you've been doing the last couple days.
CAPTAIN COURIER:¬† Sure.¬† Everyone got here on Saturday.¬† We've been tucked into the hotel and the practice courts since then.
It's a beautiful city, as Mike said.¬† But we're looking at it mostly from the team van and the hotel.¬† We're here for some tennis obviously.¬† We're here to take on a very capable and dangerous opponent, so we're focused on the task at hand.
Q.¬† Sam, can you talk about the last time you faced off with Djokovic?¬† Was that in Paris?
SAM QUERREY: ¬†No, I played him at Indian Wells about three weeks ago.
Q.¬† Can you talk about the Paris tournament when you beat him.
SAM QUERREY:¬† Came out a little slow.¬† Went down 6‑0 in that first set.¬† But then finally held serve and got my feet into the match a little bit.
I didn't do anything out of the ordinary.¬† I just served big, went for my shots, played high‑percentage tennis.¬† I played well the entire day.¬† Eventually I got a break there in the third set and kept holding and won the match.
It was nothing out of the ordinary.¬† I just played solid the whole match.
Q.¬† Sam and John, you have played doubles against Bob and Mike.¬† What makes them so difficult to beat as a doubles team?
JOHN ISNER:¬† I guess it's back to they've been playing with each other for such a long time.¬† They seem to know where each other is on the court at all times.¬† Obviously they're very comfortable playing with each other.
I still believe that Sam and I are due someday, eventually (laughter).¬† We've had a couple opportunities, but we can never seem to win the big points on these guys.¬† That's why they're the best team in the world.¬† That's why, in my opinion, they're the greatest team of all time.
I think I speak for Sam and Captain Courier that we're very fortunate to have them on our team.¬† We rely heavily on them.¬† Their Davis Cup record is pretty impressive.
As I said, we're lucky to have them on our side.
SAM QUERREY:¬† Pretty much the same.¬† They're always in position for every shot.¬† They both have great serves, great returns, great volleys.¬† They move well together.¬† It's a pain playing them (laughter).¬† I think we're 0‑6, 0‑7 against them.¬† They always have a great game plan.¬† They know what they're doing out there, so it's just tough.
JOHN ISNER:¬† In case you're wondering, I'm 0‑12 with various partners (laughter).
Q.¬† John and Sam, Novak, you both are going to have to face him.¬† Last two or three years, what has made him so difficult?
SAM QUERREY:¬† I mean, his return and backhand are arguably the best in the game.¬† His movement is probably the best, so those three things alone are extremely difficult.
But he does everything well.¬† He has an amazing all‑around game.¬† Great competitor.¬† Makes you earn every point.¬† If we're going to beat him this week, we're going to have to play well, serve big, and take advantage of the shorter balls we get in those big points, and hopefully we can come away with some wins.
JOHN ISNER:¬† Yeah, I mean, he's the best player in the world right now.¬† He's been the best player for the last few years.¬† He's supremely confident.¬† That comes from winning so many matches which he's done throughout his whole career, but especially the last three years.
As Sam said, he really doesn't have a weakness.¬† He's solid all around.¬† There's a reason he's No.1 in the world.¬† He's just good at everything.
But Sam and I have beaten him before.¬† We're going to take the court believing that we can beat him again, but we're certainly going to have to play very, very well to have a chance.¬† If we don't play well, it might not look so good.
It's a tough challenge, but I think we're both ready for it.
Q.¬† (No microphone.)
JOHN ISNER:¬† Yeah, in Davis Cup, it brings out the best competitor in everyone.¬† Sam and I are going to both lay it all out there and see how it goes.
I think we're certainly not scared.¬† We're going to take the court believing we can win.¬† I think that's the most important part more than anything else.¬† If you take the court with that belief, it could go a long way.
Q.¬† For any of you guys.¬† This is the first time you've been in Boise.¬† What do you expect out of the crowd?
BOB BRYAN:¬† I mean, the crowd's role is to be vocal.¬† That's why playing at home is a big advantage.¬† Davis Cup is really unlike any other tour event.¬† The fans have pom‑poms, their faces are painted, you'll see the flags out everywhere.¬† We've had great experience in the past with Davis Cups being sold out, packed, really carrying the squad through in tough moments.
I expect Boise, it's a great tennis town.¬† We have the legendary Greg Patton here who has really built tennis in this area.¬† I'm sure he's going to get his troops behind us.¬† My dad will be here.¬† It will be a fun time.
Q.¬† Bob and Mike, can you talk about facing Zimonjic, somebody you're really familiar with.¬† He'll probably play with Troicki.¬† Is it an advantage you know his game so well?
BOB BRYAN:¬† It's an advantage for him, he's played us so many times.¬† It's an advantage for us.¬† When you play somebody 30 times, you try to throw in something new.¬† Our coach was out there in Miami watching him a little bit, seeing if he's doing anything different.
He's a legend of the game.¬† Especially in the last 10 years, he's finished No.1, won Grand Slams, played in big matches all over the world.¬† We've beaten him many times, and same on the reverse side.
We're confident, we're playing well, had a great year so far.¬† We have a great coach on the bench with us, a great coach back home who is going to put in his two cents.
It's just about executing on the day.
Q.¬† Mike and Bob, you're passionate about Davis Cup, but when do you start thinking about a tie, getting into a frame of mind specifically about a Davis Cup tie?¬† How different is that from the regular tour?
MIKE BRYAN:¬† Started thinking about it right when we lost in Miami.¬† Just working on things for this particular team, Zimonjic and Troicki.
Once we lost that last tie, I was itching to play this next tie to try to rebound this team.¬† We want to do our job for this team and play good tennis.
But it's always on our mind.¬† It's one of our top goals coming into the year.¬† So it's a long‑term goal, but it's also short‑term when you're practicing to get ready for it.¬† We're very passionate about Davis Cup.¬† We treat these matches like they're Grand Slam finals, so...
Q.¬† Mike and Bob, can you go through your history together a little bit.¬† Have you played doubles together since you were five years old?¬† What is your history together and what has it been like to have that kind of relationship?
BOB BRYAN:¬† Yeah, I mean, we're twins.¬† The twin bond goes a lot deeper than normal brothers.¬† We get in brawls all the time like normal brothers, but we drop it.¬† We're always going to stay loyal to each other.
We've played tournaments since we were age six, played at every level, high school tennis, college, played pretty much every match on the tour together except for one or two when one of us was sick.
I've seen him in every situation.¬† I kind of know what to say to him.¬† A lot of times we do our best when we don't speak too much.¬† Kind of that unspoken language.¬† When we're not speaking, just flowing on the court, that's when we're really good.
There's not one leader on the team.¬† We both have our roles.¬† We're having a lot of fun out here together.¬† This is what we were born to do, is play doubles.¬† Being twins just makes it that much easier.
Q.¬† (No microphone.)
CAPTAIN COURIER:¬† I think it's become easier because these guys have played together as a team quite often when Patrick was captain.¬† So I was the outsider coming in trying to integrate into what they'd already built.
I think now we've had enough time in the trenches together that there's a sense of ease and comfort.¬† Particularly, as these guys were talking about, as Bob was saying, these guys play together all the time.¬† Getting in the middle of them can be a mistake a lot of times.
For me trying to figure out when to lay out and when to lay in, that was a trick.¬† But I feel like I've got a better handle on it now.
We just built a bond together as a team having gone through some road matches, which quite frankly sometimes are a little bit more strenuous and they also bring you together because you're fighting against so many other elements than just the opponents across the net.
I feel like I've become a better captain.¬† I hope I've become a better captain.¬† By no means do I know it all.¬† I have a lot to learn.¬† It's an ongoing process.
I feel much more comfortable and at ease in the role than when starting out a couple years ago.
Q.¬† (No microphone.)
BOB BRYAN:¬† I'm not sure it was this arena.
Q.¬† (No microphone.)
BOB BRYAN:¬† Yeah, that was a long time ago.¬† I think it was '99, we played a full season for the WTT Sneakers.¬† We had a lot of fun. ¬†We were just fresh out of college, happy to be on the tour, living and dying with every match, even though it didn't mean that much in the grand scheme of things.¬† We had a great time.¬† We competed hard.
It's great to be back.¬† We met some friends there.¬† Obviously we've known Greg forever.¬† Great family friend.¬† It's good to see him here.¬† Yeah, it's great to be back in a beautiful city like this.
Q.¬† (Question regarding Troicki.)
JOHN ISNER:¬† He's a world‑class player, that's for sure.¬† Anybody at this level is.¬† He actually has a lot of experience in Davis Cup.¬† He clinched their championship two years ago.¬† He was the fifth rubber, right?¬† He won the fifth rubber against France in Serbia.¬† If you ask him, it's probably the highlight of his career.¬† That was a huge moment for their team, for their country.¬† They won the Davis Cup.¬† That's pretty special.
So he's no stranger to this competition.¬† He's won a lot of matches on tour.¬† Has he beaten you ever before?
SAM QUERREY:¬† Yeah.
JOHN ISNER:¬† He's beaten Sam and I both before.¬† We've both played him a handful of times.¬† As with Novak, we're going to have to play well if we want to beat him.¬† He's a very good player.
Q.¬† (No microphone.)
MIKE BRYAN:¬† It's huge for us.¬† We've dreamed about playing Davis Cup since we were little.¬† We watched it when we were 10 years old.¬† It really kind of put a racquet in our hand.¬† We fell in love with the game.
To do this for our country, play for our teammates, a crowd like this, there's nothing like it.¬† We get goosebumps every time we walk out on a court like this.¬† It's everything.¬† It's why we've played for the last 10 years and why we'll continue to play as long as Jim calls us up.
Q.¬† (No microphone.)
CAPTAIN COURIER:¬† Well, I think so.¬† I think the pressure that a player feels in Davis Cup is unlike anything they'll feel for the rest of the year because you're playing for your teammates and you're playing for the flag on your back.¬† They don't call game Querrey, game Bryan, they call game USA. ¬†It's a different kind of expectation.
My personal experience is it felt so much easier to play for myself after Davis Cup.¬† I felt like there was a level of freedom that comes from having gone through this trial by fire, which is what every Davis Cup match is for every player.¬† It's a great mental test, Davis Cup.
Q.¬† (Question regarding the venue.)
SAM QUERREY:¬† For the most part we play our home ties in indoor arenas similar to this one.¬† The court that was laid down, it felt great all week.¬† The arena, you feel like the‑‑ I think we're going to feel like the crowd is on top of us, which we like.¬† It's got a good feeling out there.
The speed of the court's good.¬† The ball bounces into our strike zone, which we like.¬† The actual court itself and arena is not too different than some we've played in the past, which I think is good for us.¬† We've seen something similar to this before.¬† We like that kind of atmosphere in there.
CAPTAIN COURIER:¬† We tried to get cow dung, but they wouldn't let us get it in the building (laughter).
Q.¬† (Question regarding practice.)
CAPTAIN COURIER:¬† I think everyone is feeling better and better.¬† As you get acclimatized to the building and the sight lines, everything becomes better.¬† So far we're really happy with the practices.
Q.¬† (No microphone.)
BOB BRYAN:¬† It feels good to get that award.¬† I mean, we are committed to Davis Cup.¬† That's a really big part of our career.¬† It's one of the reasons why we stopped playing singles so early, we wanted to focus on doubles and get on that Davis Cup team.¬† We'll be committed as long as we get the nod.¬† So, yeah, it feels great to get that award.
Is that a new award for this year?
Q.¬† It's ongoing.
BRYAN:¬† Ongoing.¬† Trophy will go right next to some of the big ones.
Q.¬† Might be hard for you to remove the tennis aspect of this event, but can you describe to the people of Boise what this USA versus Serbia tie is in their town, the chance to see the world No.1 in their town, what kind of opportunity that is.
CAPTAIN COURIER:¬† Well, Davis Cup for those who will be reading your stories and watching the newscasts tonight and tomorrow is very much like college football or college basketball as far as a partisan crowd goes.¬† We will have a crowd that is very animated.
If you watch the US Open and Wimbledon, you will not recognize what you see on a Davis Cup court because the crowd will be, in effect, a second or a third player behind these guys when they're out there playing.¬† That's very different.
I think there will be a pretty sizable Serbian contingent as well.¬† Serbian Americans will have traveled to see Novak play.¬† Not every day that people get to see the world's No.1 player in America.¬† He only plays in four tournaments, Palm Springs, Miami, Cincinnati and the US Open.¬† This will be the only other city that will see Novak Djokovic in the United States besides those.
In and of itself for the casual sportsfans that is not that passionate about tennis, it makes it worthwhile to come out and see this event.
It's a chance to see our nation's best players battling the world's best players.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports