It happened in Birmingham, Alabama. And during Black History Month, no less. American exceptionalism knows no color lines. Jack Sock and John Isner, of the United States, swept Friday’s singles matches in a first-round Davis Cup tie against Switzerland. Sock, currently ranked number 20 in the world, defeated 146th-ranked Marco Chiudinellli 6-4, 6-3, 6-1 in the first match. Isner dropped the first set but rebounded to defeat Henri Laaksonen 4-6, 6-2, 6-2, 7-6 (1).
Switzerland was without its two best players: 18-time Grand Slam champion Roger Federer (who won the Australian Open last Sunday) and three-time major champ Stan Wawrinka.
Sock said: “There are always a few extra nerves, I think, playing Davis Cup. When you’re playing for your country, being a part of a team, maybe at a normal event, normal tournament, you come out swinging a little bit more. I think I was a little hesitant at the beginning. Maybe too conservative playing when obviously my game is to kind of play big and hit big forehands and be aggressive.
The singles victories give Team USA a two-match lead going into Saturday play. In Saturday’s doubles match, Sam Querrey and Steve Johnson play Antoine Bellier and Adrien Bossel. The U.S. would secure the victory and advance to the April quarterfinals against Australia with a win.