Going into this tie, it seemed pretty clear what each team needed to accomplish. The
United States needed to win both singles matches
against James Ward, and have the Bryans
take the doubles point. Great Britain needed Andy Murray to win both of
his singles matches and have Jamie Murray and Dominic Inglot steal the doubles
from the Bryans.
It was no surprise that
Murray took out Donald Young in four sets, as
this was part of the plan. However, U.S. fans could
sense the trouble as John Isner and Ward began to go deep into the fifth
set. After taking the first two sets it
seemed Isner was well in control, but he simply couldn't put the British number
two away. As everybody knew, Isner's
loss 15-13 in the fifth proved to be the difference, as the U.S. simply
couldn't afford to lose a match to James Ward.
The Bryan Brothers did their part, holding off a tough challenge from Jamie Murray and Dominic Inglot. It looked like the
were going to cruise, but the talented British pair fought back to send it to
five sets. With the tie riding in the
balance the Bryan Brothers' experience paid off, as they managed to pull it out
9-7 in the fifth.
However, it wasn't enough, as Andy Murray didn't drop a set to John Isner in the matchup of the team's top players. Isner clearly was upset about his weekend, but the real problem was his loss to Ward, not
A win over Murray
was considered a bonus heading into the weekend, but a win over Ward was a
must. For the second year in a row, Ward
ruined the United States'
plans and essentially knocked them out of the competition.
US team was never going to go too
far in this year's competition, but this was a very winnable tie that they let
slip away. Going forward, Courier needs
to figure out why this team keeps underperforming, and figure out which players
he'll be able to rely on over the next couple of years.