Fresh off the biggest title of his career and a return to the Top 10, John Isner will take the court for a very strong American team that takes on Belgium in the Davis Cup quarterfinals later this week.
Isner pulled off a lot of firsts in Miami this year. Not only was the ATP Masters 1000 title by far the biggest title of his career—his previous 12 all came at the 250 level—but he beat two Top 5 players at the same tournament for the first time in his career (Marin Cilic and Alexander Zverev).
The result pushed him from No. 17 back to his career-high of No. 9, which he first reached in 2012.
And now, just days later, Isner makes his way to Nashville, Tennessee for the Davis Cup quarterfinals with a stacked American team by his side, including fellow Top 20 players Sam Querrey and Jack Sock, as well as Steve Johnson and Ryan Harrison, who are currently just outside the Top 50.
And not only are three Top 20 singles players on the team, there’s a lot of doubles talent, too. Sock and Harrison are both Grand Slam doubles champions (Sock won Wimbledon in 2014 with Vasek Pospisil and Harrison won the 2017 French Open with Michael Venus), while both Isner and Querrey are Masters 1000 doubles champions (including winning one together at Rome in 2011).
Jim Courier, the U.S. Davis Cup captain, has a large talent pool with a lot of options to mix and match.
“The luxury we have is that we have five extremely good singles players on our team and five extremely good doubles players,” Isner told DavisCup.com. “Jim Courier has so many options at his disposal—all five of us are singles players with doubles skills. We certainly like our team this year.”
Their opponents, Belgium, will be without their star player, world No. 10 David Goffin. He is sitting this tie out due to an eye injury, leaving Ruben Bemelmans—who’s ranked No. 110—as their No. 1.
If the U.S. is able to make it past Belgium and into the semifinals, it will be their best Davis Cup result since 2012 (Isner, Querrey and the Bryan brothers were stopped by Spain in the semifinals that year).
The last time the U.S. made it further than the semifinals was winning the title over Russia in 2007.
But they’re not looking anywhere past Belgium despite their weakened team.
“You throw the rankings out the window in Davis Cup, it’s a completely different animal,” Isner added.