The United States and Chile have played each other in Davis Cup by BNP Paribas four times and the USA has won on each occasion but this weekend will be the first time the two nations will meet in Santiago, Chile for...
The United States and Chile have played each other in Davis Cup by BNP Paribas four times and the USA has won on each occasion but this weekend will be the first time the two nations will meet in Santiago, Chile for 33 years. Back in 1978 America took an unassailable 3-0 lead before Chile won the dead reverse singles. One of those playing for Chile was Hans Gildemeister who is now captain of the home side, and they’re back at the same venue as all those years ago, the Estadio Nacional. However, the last time the two nations met was on grass in 2006 at Mission Hills in California and the tie was decided when Andy Roddick won the first reverse singles. “The conditions are different this time compared to the last time we played them,” Gildemeister said. “We have different players also but the USA comes with a strong team. I know the USA wants to win the Davis Cup this year and they have put in a strong combination to win it but it won’t be easy. We are going to put in 100%, 1000% to inspire our players to do our best. “We are playing on clay court where Andy and John (Isner) don’t play their best tennis, that’s why we put a slow court and big balls, I hope it helps us. We are ready to play tennis on Friday, Saturday and Sunday and I hope we play our best tennis. “Our players rankings are not real and I think they play much better than the ranking right now. I think in the future they will all be in the top 100.” We have seen it all too often that rankings don’t mean too much when it comes to Davis Cup and even though the USA go in as the favourites, anything can happen. The Americans say they have acclimatised well to the conditions. They don’t see the red clay as a major issue because there is a bit of altitude in Santiago which lightens things and allows the pace of the ball to quicken. Certainly though a factor that will not play into the USA’s hands will be the crowd but they’re ready for that. Debuting American captain Jim Courier says that’s part of the beauty of Davis Cup. “We’re expecting some good energy from their crowd; we’re expecting them to bring their passion to the table. We want them to,” Courier said. “These are exciting, memorable moments for our team and for me and to be able to come into Chile where we know the crowd is going to be most likely like a football crowd, that’s what we want, we’re ready for it and looking forward to it.”