John Isner is the 23rd best men’s tennis player in the world, according to the ITP. But he still acknowledges the task at hand: defeating the world’s No. 1 player, Novak Djokovic, as the United States takes on Serbia in the Davis Cup Quarterfinals, which begin Friday, April 5, at the Taco Bell Arena.
“[Djokovic] is supremely confident,” said Isner Tuesday as he and his colleagues faced national media at a Boise State University press conference, a few feet away from the arena floor which has been converted into a tennis court. “But we’re going to take to the court thinking we can beat him. Davis Cup brings out the best in a competitor. We’re not scared.”
Bob and Mike Bryan, identical twins, will also be representing the U.S. in Davis Cup competition. Being the No. 1 men's doubles team in the world, the Bryans know a lot about high pressure on an international stage.
“We treat Davis Cup matches like a Grand Slam final,” said Mike Bryan.
The Bryans know Boise well. They played for the Idaho Sneakers in World Team Tennis competition in the late 1990s.
“We were fresh out of college,” said Bob Bryan. “It’s great to be back and especially great to see [Boise State men’s tennis coach] Greg Patton. He’s a great family friend.”
Among Patton's many accomplishments—including the key figure in securing the Davis Cup competition for Boise—is having coached the Bryans during their World Team Tennis days.
Team U.S.A. Captain Jim Courier said he helped to choose Boise because of its high altitude, favoring the U.S. team’s big servers.
“We also tried to get cow dung for the courts, but they wouldn’t allow that,” said Courier.