Sebastian Korda will make his Davis Cup debut this week in Reno as the 21-year-old rising star kicks off the USA v Colombia qualifier at 4 p.m. Friday at the Reno Events Center.
Korda, ranked 40th, will face Colombian No. 1 Nicolas Mejia, a 22-year-old player ranked No. 265 in the ATP, in the first singles match of the day.
US No. 1 Taylor Fritz (No. 20 ATP) will next face Colombian No. 2 Alejandro Gonzalez, a 33-year-old ranked No. 453, in the second singles match on Friday.
Korda said he had known and played tennis with Mejia for a long time.
“I’ve been really good friends with Nico since I was probably around 14. We always played in the juniors, we always trained together, we always traveled together. It’s really special,” Korda said during a press conference on Thursday. “We always dreamed of playing against each other in the Davis Cup. Now we have the opportunity. It’s going to be a lot of fun.
“Some good memories together. Yeah, we’re gonna bring it. It’s gonna be a lot of fun for us.”
Team USA captain Mardy Fish said players like to show off their skills in a new place like Reno, which has never hosted the Davis Cup.
“We’re really excited to be here, to bring professional tennis here, men’s professional tennis,” said Fish, who knows the Reno-Tahoe area well, having played in the American Century Championship celebrity golf tournament in Edgewood Tahoe for several years. . “We always like to go to new places and show what these guys can do. We jumped on it when we heard Reno was going to be the place. We’re thrilled.
“Obviously I know the area or the surrounding area well, coming every summer. It’s a little warmer in the summer than it is now.”
Learn more about the Davis Cup: Debuting in Reno, the tournament brings a different energy to tennis
Fritz said he hopes the crowd is energetic and enthusiastic.
“Hopefully being here people are going to be excited about tennis and we’ll have a big crowd there,” Fritz said. “We will have a lot of people cheering us on. I hope they can, you just need to have a lot of people in the stadium and it can be a really fun atmosphere to play in front of an audience like at home.”
Fish added that he liked the passion he saw from American players this week.
“Everyone who is here today has a choice to play here or not,” Fish said. “It’s not perfect preparation for a huge couple of weeks for them in Indian Wells and Miami. We’re playing indoors at altitude. None of them said a word about it in terms of not wanting to play in those types of conditions and having those torque tournaments.
“That’s what we want. That’s the passion that we need. We’ve seen that for most of the countries that we play with, the passion that they have for this competition. These guys go there. to match this week, that’s for sure.”
Tennis Channel will have live coverage in the United States. Tickets are available through ticket master.
Schedule from Friday to Saturday
Friday, 4 p.m.: Sebastian Korda (USA) against Nicolas Mejia (COL); and Taylor Fritz (USA) against Alejandro Gonzalez (COL)
Saturday, 1 p.m.: Jack Sock and Rajeev Ram (USA) versus Juan Sebastian Cabal and Robert Farah (COL) in a doubles match; Taylor Fritz (USA) against Nicolas Mejia (COL)*; and Sebastian Korda (USA) against Alejandro Gonzalez (COL)*.
*If necessary. The first country to win three matches wins the tie. If a country is victorious in the third or fourth match, Saturday’s schedule may be changed.