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Great Things Ahead for Eric Butorac and Scott Lipsky?

September 21, 2015

Winston-Salem Open - Day 4

After a week off from regular Tour action for Davis Cup duties, the ATP is back in action with stops in St. Petersburg, Russia, and Metz, France. Both events have solid doubles draws, but consider this post a spotlight on one of the teams in Metz. (Hint: they’re referenced in the headline!)

Eric Butorac and Scott Lipsky will be teaming up for the fourth tournament in a row, carrying a 5-3 record. Of course, at first glace, that doesn’t sound like too much to write home about (or perhaps write a blog post about). However, that little stretch includes a run to the finals in Winston-Salem, N.C., and a third-round finish at the U.S. Open: both impressive efforts.

For Butorac, Winston-Salem was his first finals appearance of the year, a welcome result after a rough start to the season. I was surprised when he and Raven Klaasen didn’t follow up their career year in ’14 with a push to better upon it in 2015. Butorac’s partnership with Sam Groth never got off to a good start (personally, I thought their games were too similar). There were some ups-and-downs until teaming up with Lipsky, whose ’15 campaign was going steady, but not spectacular.

Butorac and Lipsky are both veterans with titles in the double digits, and have each won on multiple surfaces. The two have had success together in the past, teaming up to win Estoril way back in 2009. Over the past few years, they’ve consistently ranked among the top five American doubles players, which to me, brings up a fascinating point.

What if they made it to the Davis Cup team?

I don’t know if there has ever been two 30-plus debutants for any team, but suppose this situation comes about: In the first round next year, the Bryans decide for whatever reason to skip the tie and the U.S. is up against a tough squad where nothing can be left to chance in scrambling for rubbers, like Switzerland or Spain. Why not pick the next-best American pairing, which by that point, has gelled into a force: Butorac and Lipsky?

It’s all hypothetical, of course, but it is something to shoot for, and could make for a great capstone to a couple of noteworthy careers.

(Photo: Getty Images)

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