“We don’t want to just be here, we want to go all the way” Joe Salisbury prepares to battle for Davis Cup glory
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With just under 24 hours to go until the Lexus Great Britain Davis Cup team face Serbia in the quarter-final of the Final 8 in Malaga, Joe Salisbury is more motivated than ever to help carry his nation to an 11th Davis Cup title.
After being called up by Great Britain Davis Cup Captain, Leon Smith to replace the injured British No.2 Dan Evans, four-time men's doubles Grand Slam champion Salisbury has been recruited to provide the Brits with a second doubles specialist to accompany Neal Skupski.
The 31-year-old, who usually partners American Rajeev Ram on the ATP Tour, has just wrapped up a late-season surge which saw the pair pick up three titles since September, including an historic third consecutive US Open, winning for a third time in Vienna and retaining his Nitto ATP Finals title.
“I feel good, obviously nice to come in off the back of quite a few wins and a successful few months” Salisbury said.
“It’s a completely different environment and challenge here. Obviously playing with a different partner and playing in the Davis Cup for your country is a different kind of pressure but I’m feeling as good and as confident as I can be.”
Just days removed from defending his prestigious crown at the Nitto ATP Finals in Turin, Salisbury heads to Malaga in fantastic form. The British, American pair topped the Red Group before going on to defeat Marcel Granollers and Horacio Zeballos in straight sets in the final to lift the silverware for the second year in a row. In doing so, Salisbury has made history in holding the record for the most titles of any British player at the year-end championships.
“It’s great to have that record but obviously I’m just trying to win as many tournaments and big titles as I can. We’ve managed to play our best at some of the biggest tournaments, especially during the second half of the season over the last couple of years.
“We had an amazing week last week, but all of the focus is on Davis Cup now and I’m looking forward to playing with Neal (Skupski).”
Salisbury first made his debut for Great Britain at the 2021 Davis Cup Finals and has since gone on to represent his country in six ties. The Brit has helped secure victories over the Czech Republic and Kazakhstan in deciding doubles rubbers, where he partnered Neal Skupski on both occasions.
Having competed both alongside Skupski for Great Britain, and against him across the ATP circuit, it’s safe to say the pair know each other’s games inside out, which could be the vital ingredient needed to give the Brits the edge should the match against Serbia go to a deciding doubles match.
“We’ve played together a bunch of times before and have done well together. We know each other really well - we’ve practiced a lot and played a lot of matches against each other so that helps.
“Even though we’ve only had a couple of days practice together coming into here, I think we feel very comfortable on court together.”
“It’s definitely up there, but once you’ve done something then you want to improve on it and do it even better” Salisbury added on what it means to play for your country.
“I think achieving something amazing, while representing your country is now the aim for all of us, we don’t want to just be here and take part in the last eight, we want to go all the way.”
Salisbury and the rest of the British team will continue their bid for Davis Cup title success on Thursday 23 November, as they’re set to take on Serbia not before 15:00 GMT.