"Putting a team together isn't as simple as just taking a player that's ranked high" - Team USA captain Mardy Fish explains Rajeev Ram's exclusion from Davis Cup team

Rajeev Ram (L) and USA captain Mardy Fish
Rajeev Ram (L) and USA captain Mardy Fish

Team USA captain Mardy Fish has high hopes for his side in the 2022 Davis Cup Finals. Having entered the quarterfinals, his team will face off against Italy in Malaga on November 24. The US squad boasts quality players, including the likes of Frances Tiafoe and the in-form Taylor Fritz.

While the team looks well-balanced, the exclusion of ATP Finals doubles winner Rajeev Ram has come across as a huge surprise. The experienced American has been in excellent form lately.

Explaining Ram's exclusion, Fish stated that selecting players for the team was not based solely on the quality they possess.

"Obviously he [Rajeev Ram] is one of the best players in the world. But matching, putting a team together isn't as simple as just taking a player that's ranked high and put him with another player and just hope that they do well," Mardy Fish said at the pre-match press conference.

The 40-year-old said that he had a conversation with Ram on the topic and that things have been sorted out.

"Rajeev and I are great friends. We had multiple conversations as well. Rajeev has been a phenomenal player for us. This is a different roster this specific time. We have Davis Cup next year. I told him that he is still very much in my plans for future ties and beyond," he explained.

"Without question, it is"- Mardy Fish on finding current USA team to be the most cohesive group he has ever worked with

Mardy Fish at the 2015 US Open.
Mardy Fish at the 2015 US Open.

Mardy Fish further expressed his excitement ahead of his side's quarterfinal fixture against Italy in the Davis Cup Finals. The 40-year-old has high hopes for the team as he feels that he has got the right mix of players and staff heading into the quarterfinals against Italy.

During the press conference, Fish was asked whether the current team is the most cohesive team he has ever worked with. The American replied:

"Without question, it is. From the moment that we decided on the roster, they have been incredibly excited. It's hard. You know, we have a lot of great players now. We've got a lot of great doubles players, a lot of great singles players. So kind of finding that correct fit has been difficult in the past"

Fish also took time to praise his support staff and stated that they have also played a major role in the betterment and coherence of the team.

"It's not just the players. The support staff, all the way from help getting here, all the way to the players themselves and myself, all of that has been a process. We feel like it's complete," Fish expressed.

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Edited by Anirudh
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