After John Isner and Sam Querrey ensured a 2-0 lead on the first day, Bob and Mike Bryan finished the task of winning the Davis Cup tie for USA on Saturday against Slovakia and taking their country to the World Group. The famous chest bumping brothers could not have capped their remarkable run in men’s tennis doubles in a better way after recording their 100th career title less than a week back at the US open in Flushing Meadows. Soon afterwards, the Bryan twins joined their colleagues at the Sears Center in Hoffman Estates III, located 30 miles south of the City of Chicago and like so many times in the past, did their country proud.
On Friday, September 12, USA took a 2-0 lead over Slovakia, when John Isner and Sam Querrey won their matches in straight sets. In the first match, world No.16 Isner earned an easy 7-6, 6-4, 6-2 win over Slovakia’s No.126 Norbert Gombos. This match was followed by USA’s world 51 Sam Querrey taking on No. 57 Martin Klizan, in which Querrey emerged winner also in straight sets 7-6, 6-3, 6-3. Both Sam and John started off slow, but finished strong in the end. With the 2-0 lead in their pocket, USA awaited the turn of the Bryan brothers to play the Saturday’s crucial doubles match against the Slovakian combination of Norbert Gombos and Lukas Lacko. The Bryans knew the importance of the occasion and did not leave anything to chance, when they took to the court against the Slovakians. They played without the thought that they were world’s No.1 doubles players. Gombos and Lacko also knew whom they were facing and planned their strategy accordingly. The Bryans went to work immediately and won the first set 6-1 without the spectators could blink their eyes. The Slovakians tried to respond but they were helpless against the net-control and sharply angled shots that the Bryan brothers were able to produce. The story was no different in the second and third sets and the entire match took just 76 minutes with Bob and Mike Bryan emerging runaway victors with the score of 6-1, 6-2, 6-1. The brothers broke the Slovakians’ service seven times and completed the rout to give US a passage to the World group. The Bryans were far superior to their opponents in every department and added the victory to their numerous achievements in the past. Possibly, the Slovak managers erred in playing Gombos and Lacko, because they are primarily singles players and their ATP doubles ranking are far too low. Gombos is ranked 688th in doubles and Lacko 1,211th. If such players are asked to play against the best doubles players in the world, there cannot be another result.
With Bryans winning the doubles, USA already won the tie and the reverse singles on Sunday became only academically important. But US team management did not want to dilute the level of competition by asking lower ranked players to play the reverse singles and insisted on Isner and Querrey to complete the tie. The two players won their reverse singles matches and USA completed the 5-0 sweep of Slovakia. Isner lost only three games in his best-of-three set match and defeated Lacko 6-3, 6-0. Lukas was a mere specatator as he watched Isner reeling out the last nine games of the match. Sam Querrey, on the other hand dropped a set in his 6-4, 4-6, 6-4 win against Gombos.
For USA, the match against Slovakia held its due importance because they lost to Great Britain earlier this year. In that tie, John Isner could not play as he was sidelined because of an ankle injury.
U.S. Captain Jim Courier was hopeful that his team can ride on the victory against Slovakia and look forward to the first World group match in March 2015. The draw for the matches is being held on Thursday, September 18.