With 27 enthusiastic JTCC supporters cheering wildly at courtside, it was a day of many “firsts” for Bob Bryan and Team USA as they defeated Croatia 2-1 in the opening match of the 2023 Davis Cup Finals Group Stage in Split, Croatia.
In his first match as Captain, Bob Bryan achieved what no other captain had been able to achieve before by defeating Croatia. Prior to the win, Team USA was 0-5 against Croatia. What made the victory especially “sweet” was that the match was in Croatia.
The Davis Cup Finals Group Stage featured 16 teams playing in four cities, with one “home” team at each venue and two teams from each group advancing to the eight-nation knockout Final.
Leading Team USA was an impressive contingent of players, including JTCC alumnus Frances Tiafoe, Tommy Paul, Mackenzie McDonald, and doubles specialists Austin Krajicek and Rajeev Ram.
Among the stalwart fans sitting courtside behind the Team USA bench for all nine matches against Croatia, Netherlands, and Finland were Board chair Kathleen Horvath and CEO Ray Benton, joined by longtime JTCC supporters Mike Barnello, Steve Glover, and LynnDee Conley (who traveled nine time zones from Los Angeles), tennis tourism fanatics Donn Marvin and Mike Teeter, and more. All were dressed in custom JTCC Team USA apparel often seen on the Tennis Channel broadcasts.
“Meeting new JTCC supporters was very rewarding, and this journey was a resounding success in terms of excitement and promoting JTCC’s mission,” said Horvath. “We eagerly anticipate future trips that blend tennis with advancing JTCC’s cause.”
Captain Bob wasted no time in naming his brother Mike as Team USA doubles coach. The legendary twins own an impressive 25-5 Davis Cup record, the most wins ever for a Team USA doubles team.
In May, Bob and Mike were the honorees at JTCC’s 2023 Gala, sparking interest in JTCC’s first fundraising trip to Croatia. Stay tuned for the next Davis Cup adventure!