Sunday, March 8, 2015

USA vs. Great Britain- Davis Cup review

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 Bryans 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 Murray.  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. 

Realistically, this 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.  

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