The championship banners placed in the rafters of Taco Bell Arena make the point for the U.S. Tennis Association. Serbian superstar Novak Djokovic has mentioned it during his recent interviews - perhaps to motivate his team.
The U.S. is the winningest nation in Davis Cup history with 32 championships.
The Americans, however, long ago lost their intimidating presence. They have won just one Davis Cup title in the past 17 years - in 2007.
In that same era, France, Sweden, Australia, Spain and Russia have won multiple championships.
"I think you'll see it come and go in waves," U.S. captain Jim Courier said, "but I don't anticipate you're going to see the United States return to where we were in the '70s and '80s, where we have 30-40 players in the top 100. The game is so international. It's a much more popular sport overseas. A lot of the best athletes gravitate toward tennis."
Meanwhile, American men's tennis is in a down cycle.
The country hasn't produced a men's singles major champion in a decade (Andy Roddick, 2003 U.S. Open) and only has two players in the top 40 - No. 20 Sam Querrey and No. 23 John Isner, who will play singles for the U.S. in a Davis Cup quarterfinal tie against Serbia beginning Friday at Taco Bell Arena.
Still, this Davis Cup team - which includes world No. 1 doubles players Bob and Mike Bryan, who have won a record 13 majors - could be in the midst of a multi-year run of trophy contention.
The U.S. won two road ties last year to reach the semifinals and, with a win against Serbia, likely would draw Canada on home soil in this year's semifinals.
Querrey, 25, and Isner, 27, are in the prime of their careers. The Bryans, 34, hope to compete through at least the 2016 Summer Olympics.
"We're at a good point in all of our careers," Bob Bryan said. "Both (singles players) are starting to hit the peak in their careers, and I feel like we're playing at the top of our game. These next two or three years are going to be where it's at for this team."
The Americans' lack of depth is masked by the commitment of the four players. This is the third straight tie for the group, the second-longest streak in team history.
Serbia is without No. 10 Janko Tipsarevic for this tie. Argentina is playing its quarterfinal without No. 7 Juan Martin Del Potro. Spain and Switzerland lost in the first round without players ranked Nos. 3, 4 and 5.
That used to be the Americans' problem.
"Particularly important in this era is that everyone who plays on tour and represents the United States is eager and hungry to play Davis Cup," said Courier, who helped the U.S. win twice as a player. "There were times when Davis Cup wasn't high on the priority list for top American players. This is an era where it's seen as a real priority and a real privilege. That's a real plus as a captain."
The Bryans treasure Davis Cup. They made the decision not to pursue singles careers in part to ensure they were available for every tie. Bob has played in 11 straight Davis Cup seasons; Mike missed one (he was sick for a first-round loss).
And Querrey and Isner said Thursday they'll be on this team until somebody pushes them out.
"We love being a part of the team and playing for our country," Querrey said, receiving nods from Isner.
They were practice players on the 2007 championship team, which included Roddick, James Blake and the Bryans. Those four played together for a team-record 10 consecutive ties.
"I saw firsthand how much winning the Davis Cup meant to Andy Roddick and meant to the Bryan brothers and meant to James Blake," Isner said. "We made the semifinals last year. We had a great year - and a tough draw, too. We played everything on the road, on clay. Obviously you try to get one step further. To be able to hoist that cup would be pretty special."
To get there, the U.S. will need career-best play from Isner and Querrey and perhaps a new star to emerge.
"We've got a lot of work to do to keep getting better and put American tennis at a better spot than it is now," Isner said. "It certainly is not hurting, I don't think, but compared to the past, when you had guys like Captain Courier and Sampras and Agassi - those guys were the best in the world, top five in the world, for a long, long time.
"That's not the case now, but we'll try to get there."