USA will play Brazil for the first round of the 2013 Davis Cup. It will be held in Jacksonville, Florida from February 1-3 at Veterans Memorial Arena. This will be Brazil’s first time in the World Group in nine years, beating Russia 5-0 this past year in Sao Jose de Rio Preto to secure their spot.
The 2012 season was one to remember for the US Team. They won two difficult away matches, the first round tie in Switzerland where Fish defeated Wawrinka and Isner beat Federer in two long, arduous rubbers. The tie ended 5-0. USA then went on to beat France away in the quarterfinals, again Isner winning two big matches against Simon and Tsonga to clench a 3-2 win. Ultimately, USA fell to Spain 1-3 in the semifinals, the only win coming from the Bryan brothers. Spain will play the Czech Republic in November for their sixth Davis Cup title, a rematch of the 2009 final where Spain won 5-0.
The tie against Brazil will be the first one at home for the Americans since their loss to Spain in Austin, TX in 2011. USA has an all-time record of 109-16 in Davis Cup events played at home and 6-0 in Florida. This will be the seventh Davis Cup match played in Florida and the first since USA defeated Sweden 4-1 in 2004 at Delray Beach. Brazil and the US have met on four previous occasions, the last one in 1997 when Jim Courier led USA to a 4-1 away win over Brazil. USA leads the overall series 3-1.
“There’s nothing like playing Davis Cup in your home country,” Courier said. “We were very happy to draw a home match. This could be a great opportunity for players like John (Isner), Sam (Querrey) and Ryan (Harrison) to experience a home court advantage for the first time in their Davis Cup careers.”
Looking at numbers, the odds are in favor of the US team, the most decorated team with 32 championships. Although the official nominations aren’t in until 10 days before the tie begins, we all have a good idea of who will be on the US’s team: Isner, Querrey, and Harrison for singles, and the Bryan brothers for doubles, both of whom have outstanding Davis Cup records. The guy to watch out for on the Brazilian side is Thomaz Bellucci. This past season he has beaten some top 10 ATP players, including David Ferrer and Janko Tipsarevic.
If the Americans advance, they would host either Serbia or Belgium in the Davis Cup quarterfinals April 5-7. My bet is on Serbia, which will make a tough match for the Americans. But we won’t worry about that just yet.