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Fritz “100 percent” ready as USA try to win Davis Cup for first time in 15 years
Mardy Fish says Taylor Fritz is 100 percent fit and ready as a committed USA side begin one last push for a first Davis Cup title since 2007 with a quarter-final against Italy in Malaga on Thursday. The USA captain has been keeping close tabs on Fritz, the US No 1 who has had a … Continued
Mardy Fish says Taylor Fritz is 100 percent fit and ready as a committed USA side begin one last push for a first Davis Cup title since 2007 with a quarter-final against Italy in Malaga on Thursday.
The USA captain has been keeping close tabs on Fritz, the US No 1 who has had a quick turnaround after reaching the semi-finals of the ATP Finals last weekend.
But Fish, who takes charge of a team including Frances Tiafoe, Tommy Paul and Jack Sock, said his lead player was ready.
“Taylor, I’d say he’s 100 percent,” Fish told a news conference on Wednesday. “He’s a very unique kid. He’s been on the road for a long time. He’s been on the road since, I think Valencia…so for six, seven weeks or so. Came here without question.
“A lot of times you can get a call from someone who plays deep into a year and, you know, I mean, for us, we play tomorrow and that’s Thanksgiving for us. It’s a big holiday for us at home, and not being there and missing our families is a big deal for us.
“To have those guys commit and want to be here and want to be a part of the process and the team and try and win this thing for the first time since 2007 means a lot to me and means a lot to the rest of the guys on the team, each other individually that they’re committed to trying to win this thing.”
Davis Cup has often been seen as a distraction for American players. For every John McEnroe or Andy Roddick, both of whom played with their heart on their sleeve for their country, there is a Pete Sampras, who played sporadically, when it suited him.
Fritz: “We’re all going there with full intentions to try to win it”
At the ATP Finals, Fritz agreed with the assertion of Sampras, that Americans don’t really care about the Davis Cup but said he hoped they could change a few minds this week.
“I mean, he’s right. It’s not as big of a deal for people in the US, maybe. If we were to win it, hopefully people would care,” he said.
“I’ve talked to all of the guys on the team now, like, we’re all going there with full intentions to try and win it. We want to win it. Obviously right now not really thinking about it, but give me like a day or two and I’ll be there and I’ll be locked in and we’ll be ready to try and win it.”
Fish: “This is the first time I’ve had a top 10 player”
Fish said he would not underestimate Italy, even though they are without their two leading players, Jannik Sinner and Matteo Berrettini through injury.
But the captain could not hide the confidence he has in his team.
“This is my first time I have had a top-10 player in a singles match, which is really nice to kind of throw someone out there and someone that’s really confident, playing really well,” he said.
“Obviously Frances and Tommy as well. Pretty similar players in terms of their games and stuff. Frances having that great run in the US Open I think shows those guys that they can win something big like that. He was really close. And Taylor was really close in winning last week. So as a captain, that makes me very excited. Makes my job a lot easier.”