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DAVIS CUP BY BNP PARIBAS WORLD GROUP QUARTERFINALS: SERBIA v U.S.A.


April 7, 2013


Jim Courier

Sam Querrey


BOISE, IDAHO

N. DJOKOVIC/S. Querrey
7‑5, 6‑7, 6‑1, 6‑0


THE MODERATOR:  Questions for Sam and Jim.  Once again, please raise your hand and ask for the microphones.

Q.  Sam, talk about what went through your mind when you saw Novak go down there.  How do you handle it when they take the medical timeouts?
SAM QUERREY:  You know, I twisted my ankle before.  Guys have done it.  I was assuming he was going to get back out there.  It's Davis Cup.  It's a big match.  It's one of those injuries just depends how bad it is.
You can tape it up and get the blood flowing down there and get going again, and that's what he did.  I was assuming he was going to do that, so I didn't let it affect my game or anything.
I was ready to go right after.

Q.  Sam, what was the big difference in the third and fourth sets?  Also, how much of an issue was your shoulder?
SAM QUERREY:  It was more of a pec issue.  It hurt on my serve.  I wasn't able to get my usual pop, and that's tough when you're playing against the best returner in the world.
He broke me early and got some momentum and then just kind of started swinging more freely, started playing the backhand down the line a little more, which he hits that better than anyone.  He started to become a great frontrunner at that point.  Made it tougher on me.
He could just swing freely and balls kept dropping in.

Q.  Was that something that happened during the match, the pec?
SAM QUERREY:  Yeah, just a little sore.  I wasn't able to kind of swing through it.  I was trying, but, yeah, it was just kind of sore there second, third, and fourth sets.

Q.  You could see in the first set after the twisted ankle he was tentative.  He was checking his ankle.  So how much does that play into your mind?  It's sort of hard to prepare for a potentially wounded opponent.
SAM QUERREY:  Yeah, you know, those first few games he's got to kind of test it out and be a little cautious and see how bad it is, but I think once he played a few more games he found his comfort level with it and was still able to move at a very high level and still able to serve well and get around the court.
So once the blood started flowing down there for him, I don't think it altered his game too much.

Q.  Jim, talk about just the overall tie here and also Brazil and the season as you see it.
JIM COURIER:¬† Sure, sure.¬† Well, starting with this one, we were a very well‑prepared team coming into the weekend.¬† I am proud of the guys for the effort they put in out there.¬† Everyone fought as best they could through the circumstances.
These matches can hinge on a point here and there.  The doubles was a big one for us.  Teams won the exact same amount of points out there, but one team won the match.
We win that one, we're out in the fifth match right now and it's a different energy, different element.
But couldn't be prouder of the guys for the effort all the way through from Saturday when we got here all the way to today.  I think we've learned a lot this year.
I think it's been a good year for this guy right here.  He came through for us in a big match in Jacksonville.  He won three live points for us this season, so this is something for Sam to build on for next year and for the rest of this season on the tour as well, which is great.
Hopefully next year we'll have everyone healthy.  And this year, as you look back on it now in a quick lens, we've dealt with an issue here with Sam which clearly debilitated him in this match.  Take away one of his major weapons, it's going to be very difficult to beat the world No. 1.
Then John's knee was a big problem for us in Jacksonville.  He had no match play and we were uncertain how he was going to do.
So we fought through some trying times this year from a physical standpoint.¬† Hopefully we'll be well‑rested and ready to go and healthy for next year.

Q.  When you look through a longer lens, next year, do you think Mardy could be back in the mix?  Ryan?  Is this the team you think you're going to have for the foreseeable future?
JIM COURIER:  Well, this has been the team for the last three ties, and may very well be the team for the next five years.  We just hope that everyone will be healthy and we'll have those options on the table.
Your guess is as good as mine, Doug.  We'll play the best players when the ties come around.

Q.  Sam, you did a very good job fighting through the second set; you got the tiebreaker.  So was the pec that bad?  Did he play that well?  Did he get so much momentum you just couldn't stop him at all the last two sets?
SAM QUERREY:  Yeah, the second set I fought through it and was winning the baseline points.  It was back and forth.  I think that third set when he broke me early it gave him a little more freedom to swing out of some of the returns, which he wasn't doing as much of in the second set.
That just made it tough.  When he starts to get a read on those serves and swing out and putting 'em deep in the corner, it just made it very difficult on my service games.

Q.  Sam, did you notice in the third and fourth set it looked like he was back to his normal self?
SAM QUERREY:¬† Yeah, I mean, I don't think he ‑‑ you know, he couldn't slide out to the forehand, things like that, but his groundies, he was hitting them clean like always does.¬† He was just kind of feeding off his momentum and his lead.
You know, when you start building a lead like that and start winning, things start to feel better.  I think that's what happened.

Q.  Sam, comment on how this weekend has gone, how Boise has treated you, and how this place was for a tie like this?
SAM QUERREY:  The whole week has been great.  We had an unbelievable five or six days of practice.  We fought hard in the tie.  The venue was amazing.  The city is great.
So I thought everything was perfect.  We have no complaints.  I thought the fans did a great job coming out and cheering.  Boise is a great tennis town.  Hopefully we can have another tie here one day.

Q.  Comment on what you think you've learned in the last couple ties here this year.
SAM QUERREY:  You know, it's a team event, so it's one of those few times where you're not the only guy out there and you're counting on your teammates.  It's fun.  These events are big time events.  They have a Grand Slam feel, so they're a little more stressful.  They feel like a little bigger than a 250 or Masters Series and things like that.
So it's great match practice, you know, for those Grand Slams.  Davis Cup is right up there on the level of importance as those.  It's great preparation.  They're great weeks.  We get tons of great practice and help from Jim and Jay out there on the court.
I always feel like I really improve during these Davis Cup weeks.  Even though I lost today and our team lost, I'm still feeling very confident with the great work of week I got, and I know the rest of the guys probably feel that way, too.

Q.  What was the vibe after the doubles lost yesterday?
SAM QUERREY:  You know, we were bummed.  Every point is important.  We still felt like we were in it.  Anything can happen out there.  If we win that one, we're in a fifth right now.
So it was a tough loss, but those other guys played great.  Bob and Mike played their hearts out and were right there.

Q.  Jim, Davis Cup is such a great competition.  Why do you think so many top 10 players don't want to play it when it creates a big atmosphere and ever tie is as big as maybe Masters Series tie?
JIM COURIER:  I'm pretty clear on the record of my thoughts on the current format of Davis Cup.  It has its pluses and minuses.  You can go on Google and search for it.  I don't want to get into it today.

Q.  Jim, you've analyzed a ton on television and watched Novak play.  This is the first time you've coached against him?
JIM COURIER:  Right.

Q.¬† So what did you see out there from him?¬† Are you seeing ways that he can be beaten after he wins the first set ‑ and you've called a lot of his long matches ‑ are you saying, Sam, you just got to grind with him.¬† What do you tell him?
JIM COURIER:¬† Well, Novak is such a complete tennis player.¬† We've seen him grow over the years not only game‑wise but mentally.¬† He's got a lot of that positive to and draw from from over the years from the matches he's one when he's been pushed to the brink.
So today was an example of him drawing on that experience and energy when he had the ankle issue.  The reality of the matchup changes.  If Novak twists his ankle, he goes from being the absolute best mover in the world to being just one of the great movers on the tour.  You take away his ability to maybe slide to the forehand, but nothing else changed.
So it's diminimus, the change, realistically, from a tactical change on our side.  So Sam didn't need to make any changes.  He just needed to execute how he was going to execute all along.
You take away Sam's serve, that is a different change.  That would be like stripping Novak of his movement.  That's one of Sam's two big key weapons.  His serve went from 130 to barely over 100 at times just because he couldn't get it there because of his pec.
So that was a tough tactical matchup for us in the end.  Then you start to see the shift of who has control of the baseline rallies.  It goes from being when Sam is serving Sam has control because he's starting at the center of the court deciding where the ball is going to go, to all of a sudden Novak has the upper hand and he's feeling, as Sam pointed out, free because he's starting to run away with the match and he can see the finish line and he's trying to get there fast.
There is a lot of nuance, as you know.  You watch a lot of tennis.  There is a lot of nuance to what goes on out there.  There are not a lot of holes to pick on Novak.  That's why he's ranked where he is and won what he has and why he got through today.  Experience, shots, and in the end he had more than enough to get through the tape.

Q.  You've coached against some very good teams.  Do you enjoy that challenge personally?
JIM COURIER:  Absolutely.  I enjoy more than anything being with these guys and helping them throughout the course of week and then talking to their coaches throughout the year.
I certainly enjoy the matchups and being on the court and being able to have some kind of an impact at times, positive or negative, on the situation.  We're still young in that department.  We still haven't had a ton of matches together.
Three years in.  Hopefully I'll have a few more years at this and get better and better at it.  I'm competitive, and I want to help these guys get the most out of their games.  We're going to win some and lose some.  That is just the nature of sports.
This is a tough defeat for us, but we did what we could.

Q.¬† Jim, you were the last person to win back‑to‑back Australian Opens and French Opens.¬† Do you think Novak can rise to that challenge this year?
JIM COURIER:  I think he would have last year but for a rain delay.  Certainly can.

Q.  Jim, you brought this to Boise for the first time.  How did Boise do?  Is this a place you could see coming back to?
JIM COURIER:  The USTA brought it here for us and we're very pleased.  Boise did an outstanding job welcoming both teams.  I think both teams really enjoyed their week.  I think that's what we've heard from the Serbian team.  They've been very happy here.  It was a tremendous atmosphere.  It's one of pluses about the way Davis Cup is played today is the atmosphere.
I think Boise has a lot to be proud of.

Q.  Kim, the results of the tie are obvious, but did the altitude factor in the way you thought it might?
JIM COURIER:  Well, yeah.  I think the altitude was a factor on a plus and minus level for us.  Probably negatively impacted us in the doubles a little bit.  From my vantage point, looked like Novak was not hitting the ball as aggressively as normal until the end of this match.  He was steering the ball.
You want your serves to be effective.¬† I thought our serves, when we were hitting them well, were very effective here.¬† We're certainly satisfied with that aspect of the decision‑making to come here.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports




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