John Isner rolls past Lukas Lacko in Davis Cup
HOFFMAN ESTATES, Ill. (AP) John Isner and Sam Querrey won their singles matches Sunday as the U.S. completed a 5-0 sweep of Slovakia in the Davis Cup World Group playoff.
Isner captured the final nine games and beat Lukas Lacko 6-3, 6-0. Querrey then defeated Norbert Gombos 6-4, 4-6, 6-4. Isner and Querrey each won two matches in the tie.
Entering play Sunday, the U.S. had already won the first three matches and clinched a spot in the 2015 World Group - extending a streak in the top tier that began in 1989.
Isner defeated Gombos and Querrey beat Martin Klizan in singles Friday night, before Mike and Bob Bryan ensured the victory with a lopsided doubles triumph Saturday over Gombos and Lacko.
Isner then breezed past Lacko in 43 minutes Sunday.
''We knew how important this tie was,'' said Isner, who was sidelined by an ankle injury when the U.S. lost to Great Britain earlier this year.
''We belong in the World Group for sure and we're back in there. That was the goal all along, obviously.''
Lacko, ranked 86th in the world, replaced Slovakia's No. 1 Klizan for Sunday's first match. Isner, ranked 16th, broke in the eighth game for a 5-3 lead, held at love to win the first set and then dominated the second. He had four breaks of serve and eight aces.
''It's a different feel. There is not much riding on the line for it beside just winning,'' Isner said of his final match.
''We had already advanced. So as far as that goes, it's a little bit maybe tough to get revved up for it. But I'm happy I won.''
Querrey hit 13 aces and fought off a tough challenge from the spirited Gombos, the 126th-ranked player in the world.
Sunday's matches were shortened to best-of-3 since the team competition had already been decided.
''Today it was already decided, so it was something like a practice match,'' Lacko said. ''With John, you never have like a rhythm. So I never got into the match today.''
U.S. Captain Jim Courier hopes his team can transfer the success from the last three days into the 2015 play. The draw is scheduled for Thursday and the first matches will be next March.
''This is a great way for us to finish the year in Davis Cup, go out 5-0 like this and then to carry that forward,'' Courier said.