The Davis Cup preview: USA, Italy, France, Spain, Germany & more

John Isner must be thrilled, winning Miami, his best two consecutive weeks ever. But now, it is time for Davis Cup. In Nashville, against Belgium, the Americans are a huge favorite, with teammates Jack Sock, Sam Querrey, Steve Johnson and Ryan Harrison. They are playing indoors, which will probably be pretty fast on the hard court. If they play decently, the USA will win, hands down.

Any of the five guys can win it in the singles, given that Belgium are pretty slim. The very good David Goffin isn’t playing because he is still hurt. The two singles player, Ruben Bemelmans and Joris De Loore, will play, and they will have a small chance to win. Bemelmans is very decent, but he is not that great.

American captain Jim Courier has chosen Isner and Querrey for singles. On Friday, Isner will face De Loore, and Querrey versus. Bemelmans. On Saturday, it will be Sock and Harrison in doubles against a pair of unknown Belgium players.

Courier is darn smart, so if the players listen to what he says, they will move on, quickly.

In Spain, Rafa Nadal will be playing in Valencia against the Germans. On Wednesday, the No. 1 Nadal hadn’t decided whether he would play on Friday, but he decided to. He will face off against Philipp Kohlschreiber. He appears to be very excited, which is great, but over the past three months, he has been hurt, significantly. Hopefully, he won’t pull out again. As the fans say, ‘Pray.’

Before that, it looked like Pablo Carreno Busta was going to play, but he became injured. (Everyone gets injured, right?) He pulled out, so David Ferrer has brought him in, and will play the flashy No. 4, Alexander Zverev. The one-time Roland Garros finalist Ferrer loves to grind, and while Zverev likes to chase the balls and whack-em, he cannot get lose his cool, just like he did when he lost in the Indian Wells final against Isner. He must focus. Zverev and Kohlschreiber need to be on fire and enthusiastic. It should be a great contest.

Here is another terrific tie: home team Italy versus France on clay, in Genoa. Fabio Fognini is certainly playing in singles, and the captain Corrado Barazzutti chose Andreas Seppi. It will be a very tight match, either way. The French captain Yannick Noah choose the No. 11 Lucas Pouille and Jeremy Chardy, who played pretty well in the past month. Teu have to chop it around and mix it up anywhere you want to. A toss up overall?  You bet.

Croatia is a serious favorite against Kazakhstan, with Marin Cilic and Borna Coric leading the pack. Coric is playing much better than he did last year.

MORE NOTES
Charleston, South Carolina is a terrific area, near the great water. On court at the Volvo Car Open on green hardcourts, they slide a lot, and on occasion, they fall down. But they get back up, wipe up your towels, and run. Some of the top players don’t come much anymore, but still, there are some very good players, like the US Open finalist Madison Keys, who has struggled this season, but she is trying. She beat Lara Arruabarrena and then on Thursday, she beat the some-times good Camila Giorgi. Not bad. She needs to win a lot this week, because very soon, here comes the European clay. There, she has to hustle a lot…
Brit Jo Konta is really struggling and she lost against Fanny Stollar 6-3 6-4. She is 7-6 this season and now she is ranked No. 22. She has to get back on track…
The ‘other’ Kristyna Pliskova shocked the No. 10 Petra Kvitova 1-6, 6-1, 6-3. The next day, she upset Elena Vesnina. On fire, huh?

Kvitova can look great, or she can fold. She needs to rest for a while. At least a few weeks. … One more good win: American Bernarda Pera upset Sara Errani. Another American is on the rise.

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