Sunday, February 5, 2017

U.S. advances to Davis Cup quarterfinals

Jack Sock, above, and Steve Johnson of the United States defeated Adrien Bossel
and Henri Laaksonen of Switzerland 7-6 (3), 6-3, 7-6 (5) to clinch the first-round
Davis Cup series. 2016 photo by Paul Bauman
   Even without the Bryan brothers, U.S. Davis Cup captain Jim Courier had numerous attractive options to play doubles against Switzerland on Saturday.
   John Isner and Jack Sock, the Shanghai Masters champions last October.
   Steve Johnson and Sock, the Olympic bronze medalists in Rio de Janeiro last August.
   Johnson and San Francisco native Sam Querrey, who stunned top-seeded Bob Bryan and Mike Bryan in the first round of the 2015 U.S. Open en route to the semifnals.
   The 6-foot-10 (2.08-meter) Isner and the 6-foot-6 (1.98-meter) Querrey, semifinalists in the 2015 Miami Masters.
   Any of the combinations would have done the job against a Swiss team missing 2008 Olympic doubles gold medalists Roger Federer and Stan Wawrinka.
   Courier chose Johnson and Sock, who clinched the first-round series in Birmingham, Ala., by defeating Adrien Bossel and Henri Laaksonen 7-6 (3), 6-3, 7-6 (5) for an insurmountable 3-0 lead. Johnson and Sock played together for the first time since Rio.
   Sock won the 2014 Wimbledon men's doubles title with Vasek Pospisil of Canada. The edged the Bryans 7-5 in the fifth set in the final.      
   The United States will play at rival Australia, which beat the Czech Republic 4-1, in the quarterfinals on April 7-9. The U.S. defeated Australia 3-1 on grass in Melbourne in the first round last year before blowing a 2-0 lead and losing to Croatia 3-2 in the quarterfinals in Portland, Ore.
   The United States (32) and Australia (28) rank 1-2 in Davis Cup championships.
   The 38-year-old Bryan twins last month announced their retirement from Davis Cup competition after 14 years with the U.S. squad. They hold the American record for doubles victories by a team, having gone 24-5. The Bryans clinched the last of the United States' Davis Cup titles in 2007 against Russia in Portland.
   Federer, 35, and Wawrinka, 31, chose to rest after the Australian Open. Federer defeated Wawrinka in the semifinals and Rafael Nadal in last Sunday's final. It was Federer's first Grand Slam singles title in five years and record 18th overall. Pete Sampras and Nadal are tied for second place with 14.
   Men's Challenger -- Here are the singles qualifying and main draws and today's schedule in the $100,000 KPSF Open at the Bay Club SF Tennis Center in San Francisco:

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