“The Davis Cup continues to have commitment issues, which is why Juan Martín Del Potro won’t be playing for Argentina in the quarterfinals this week, even though Argentina has yet to win the trophy.
But the Cup, still the premier team event in tennis, does have full commitment this year from the player atop the rankings.
Novak Djokovic is re-entrenched at No.1 and remains Serbia’s most prominent athlete and ambassador. And one of the great quirks and strengths of Davis Cup is that it can put the game’s biggest stars in unlikely places.
Through the years, Davis Cup road trips have taken Roger Federer to Casablanca, Rafael Nadal to the Czech city of Brno, John McEnroe to Dublin and Andre Agassi to Harare, Zimbabwe, with McEnroe watching and fretting from the captain’s chair.
Now the U.S. team’s desire for novelty and any whiff of an edge has brought Djokovic to Boise, Idaho: a pleasant city of about 210,000 that most foreigners and even a few Americans would struggle to place on a map.
But Boise is no tennis wasteland. It has more than 80 public outdoor courts and particularly active recreational adult leagues. It was also once home to the Idaho Sneakers, a World Team Tennis franchise whose lineup once included the American doubles stars Bob and Mike Bryan.
“We had a lot of fun,” Bob Bryan said at a news conference Tuesday. “We were just fresh out of college, happy to be on the tour, living and dying with every match, even though it didn’t mean that much in the grand scheme of things.”
But Boise has never staged a Davis Cup match or any other professional tennis match of genuine import. There are two reasons that is about to change.”
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Article written by CHRISTOPHER CLAREY