The USTA has announced that its first round tie against Great Britain will be held in San Diego, California from January 31 to February 2nd. And in a baseball stadium, no less! Petco Park will play host to the tie on a temporary red-clay court set up in the outfield surrounded by temporary seating on three sides. It is the first time a Davis Cup tie will be played in a baseball stadium, and the first time the Americans have chosen an outdoor clay court since 1992.
Since the top American men, currently John Isner and Sam Querrey, rely on booming serves and forehands, the surface of choice has almost always been quick indoor hard courts. The strategy likely being employed by Jim Courier, the US Davis Cup Captain, in choosing an outdoor clay court, is likely playing to the weakness of Britain’s biggest threat, Andy Murray, rather than to the strengths of his stars. Both Isner and Querrey have won clay court titles, while Murray has not. The last time the teams squared off was in Birmingham, AL, in 1999. The Americans prevailed 3-2.
The best-of-five rubbers between the U.S. and Great Britain will begin on Friday January 31 with two singles matches. Saturday will feature the doubles rubber, and Sunday will include the two reverse singles matches. This will be the fourth home tie for Jim Courier, the U.S. Davis Cup Captain, and the fifth home tie for the U.S. since 2009. The U.S. holds a 110-17 all-time record for Davis Cup ties played at home.
The winner will play the winner of Italy vs. Argentina in the quarterfinals April 4-6.