Austrian veteran Jurgen Melzer is entering his fourth decade as a member of the Austrian Davis Cup team as Austria take on Uruguay this weekend in the Davis Cup Qualifiers. The 38 year old Austrian made his Davis Cup debut against Sweden in 1999 going down in the doubles.
This weekend, he will play doubles for Austria once again - which will be his 37th time representing Austria in the Davis Cup. This places him in the Top 5 amongst international players with India's Leander Paes leading the tally with 57 ties played.
Melzer says he is happy to be part of the elite group. "It's cool, but it also shows that I've been around for a few years. It's nice to see that the fire is still there after all these years. The team has always had a good harmony over the years and there have been very, very close friendships.
They stay for life. That is what I am extremely good at." Melzer added that he is proud that he has always been able to raise his hand to play for Austria in the Davis Cup, except due to injuries. The left-hander says his best moment in the Davis Cup came nine years ago when he defeated France's Gilles Simon in five sets.
"The mood, that was extreme." While he recalls the five-set loss to German Philipp Kohlschreiber after leading two sets to love as a painful loss. Melzer is currently playing on the ATP Tour with Frenchman Edouard Roger-Vasselin and the Austrian says that they are improving, having recently reached the semi-finals in Dubai.
"We are growing better together, got a better grip on the problems. Now we hope that we can translate this into results in Indian Wells and Miami."