Last week was a very exciting time for the city of Nashville, as Belmont University hosted the Davis Cup Quarterfinals between Team USA and Belgium. It was the first time Nashville has hosted the Davis Cup since 1978.
The week initially started with Net Generation Kids’ Day at Centennial Park Indoor Tennis Courts. The USTA and USTA Tennessee hosted about 40-60 local kids for special Net Generation clinics. The Belmont men’s and women’s tennis teams were also present at this event, helping out during the clinic.
After Kids Day, the second event of the week was the Draw Ceremony for the Davis Cup, which was located at the Country Music Hall of Fame Theatre in downtown Nashville. The draw ceremony featured a wonderful pre-event concert from Two Story Road. After the music, members of Team USA and Team Belgium were brought to the stage and introduced. Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam and the president of Belmont University, Robert Fisher, was also present at this event. After the introduction of the players, International Tennis Federation and United States Tennis Association members were brought on stage to determine Single’s matchups in the Davis Cup. John Isner, one of the most known players in American tennis, was announced as America’s No. 1 singles player and he would open the event on Friday evening against Belgium’s No. 2 singles player Joris De Loore. In opposition of that, it was announced that American No. 2 player Sam Querrey, would face off against Ruben Bemelmans to close the opening day of fierce competition at the Curb Center. After the opening matches on Friday, it was announced that Saturday’s doubles match would feature Jack Sock and Ryan Harrison for the Americans, taking on doubles specialists Sander Gille and Johan Vliegan.
Although the U.S had not made it to the Davis Cup World Group Semifinals since 2012, they came into this match as heavy favorites. On Friday afternoon, the first match begun between U.S. star John Isner and Belgium’s Joris De Loore. It was a very long and draining match continuing for a demanding 3 hours and 14 minutes but Isner was victorious.
Following the opening match, Sam Querrey defeated Ruben Bemelmans in a convincing fashion, putting the United States in perfect position to take momentum through the series. After a competitive Friday, Jack Sock and Ryan Harrison defeated the seasoned Sander Gille and Johan Vligan in a doubles match on Saturday afternoon clinching a 3-0 victory for the U.S.
On Sunday, Ryan Harrison had the honors of wrapping up the 4-0 victory over Belgium in an exhibition match. Team USA proved to live up to the hype of being the favorites, sweeping the Belgians improving to 5-0 all-time in Davis Cup play against Belgium. The U.S. team will now travel to Croatia Sept. 14-16 for the Semifinals, marking the first time the U.S has made it to that stage of the Davis Cup since 2012. It was a competition filled weekend for the city of Nashville and Belmont University ending with the U.S closing it out, heading to the next stage in the Davis Cup!