The USA will have a new leader when they arrive at the Davis Cup Finals in Madrid. Former world No.7 Mardy Fish takes over from former captain Jim Courier hoping to steer the Americans to a record 33rd title.
The Finals aren’t too far away now and it feels like the excitement is building with Novak Djokovic confirming, Rafael Nadal should be there, Andy Murray is back playing. Do you get the same feeling on your side of the Atlantic and among the American players?
We are all very excited over here in the US. The players are all on board and really excited to get going. We’re all very interested in how the new format will play out in Madrid and excited to play for the team.
Tell us how the captaincy appointment came about?
It’s a dream job for me. I wanted to be the Davis Cup captain while I was playing Davis Cup for the USA. I’ve always been so intrigued in the opportunity to lead the guys for Team USA.
What are you most looking forward to about the role once you get to Madrid? Have you missed the competitive environment?
I don’t miss the travel element of being a tennis pro but I miss competing at that level. My role will be to put the best team together that we think can beat the team across the net from us. We’re excited to try do that.
“We are all really excited to get going the Davis Cup by Rakuten Madrid Finals”
How do you prepare for Madrid as the Finals get closer?
I’ve been around the guys for the entire year and I’ve been at events throughout the year. I’m in contact with them on a weekly basis. We’ve had a few dinners and team events which has been a blast.
There’s a lot of talk about the format - it might be something that particularly lends itself to the younger guys who might be on your team like Frances Tiafoe, Taylor Fritz, Reilly Opelka?
Absolutely. Those guys are the present and future of American tennis. They will very much be a part of the team for years to come.
A couple of captains we’ve spoken to say they expect more upsets because of best-of-three set matches and best-of-three rubber ties. Would you agree?
You can always throw out previous results in Davis Cup. It’s always easier to win two sets against someone better than you than it would be to win three sets. So yeah, there should be some great matches and some really fun results.
Mardy is an Olympic silver medallist after reaching the singles final at the 2004 Games in Athens.
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