Roddick sings praises of Davis Cup

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The Independent Online

The United States won its first Davis Cup since 1995 with a doubles victory over defending champion Russia on Saturday.

Leading 2-0 in the best-of-five final, the Americans' powerful team of twins Bob and Mike Bryan cruised past Nikolay Davydenko and Igor Andreev 7-6 (4), 6-4, 6-2 to in a shade under two hours to seal the tie.

"No words can explain how we feel right now, except Woooooooo!" Mike Bryan exclaimed.

The once-dominant United States won its 32nd Davis Cup, and ended a 12-year drought, its longest span without a victory.

"To be here and to bring the Cup back to the States is just an amazing feeling," Andy Roddick said. "But more importantly, just to share the journey with these guys, it's been so much fun."

Captain Patrick McEnroe was asked if it was his best moment ever in tennis.

McEnroe started his reply: "It's not about me, it's about this whole group of guys ... " But he was interrupted by a jubilant Roddick.

"Say yes!" he shouted.

The US had not taken the first three matches of a Davis Cup final since 1990 against Australia.

Roddick and James Blake got the US off to a fast start on Friday, winning the opening singles at Memorial Coliseum.

With Roddick and Blake looking on, both doubles teams held serve through the first set, forcing the tiebreaker. When the United States took a 5-3 lead, Andreev slammed his racket to the court.

Andreev double-faulted on the twins' second set point, and the top-ranked duo celebrated with their familiar chest bump.

Andreev and Davydenko had partnered only once before as a doubles team in Davis Cup play, and often conferred over strategy. Davydenko, who came to the Davis Cup mired in an investigation into unusual betting patterns during a match in August, had played a doubles match only twice before this year.

When Bob Bryan's winning forehand at the net bounced over the heads of the Russians, Roddick and Blake poured onto the court and piled into a group embrace. The four players then ran a victory lap around the hardcourt with an American flag.

Andreev said it wasn't until the second set before he got a chance to return a second serve.

"So you can imagine if the guy's always serving first serve, it makes it so difficult because you cannot control the ball," he said. "You cannot do anything on the return."

Bob Bryan admitted afterward to feeling some pressure.

"I had a circus of monkeys in my stomach just playing tambourine in there," he said.

On Friday, Roddick beat Dmitry Tursunov 6-4, 6-4, 6-2 in the opening match and Blake outlasted Mikhail Youzhny 6-3, 7-6 (4), 6-7 (3), 7-6 (3). Some were surprised when Russia captain Shamil Tarpischev left fourth-ranked Davydenko out of the singles.

Sunday's reverse singles will be shortened to best-of-three sets because the US has already clinched the title.

Both Davis Cup teams included the same players from the semifinals, when the United States beat Sweden 4-1 and Russia defeated Germany 3-2.

When he was 10 years old, Roddick watched the United States a team that included Andre Agassi, Jim Courier, Pete Sampras and John McEnroe defeat Switzerland in the 1992 final in Fort Worth, Texas.

That was the last time the United States hosted a Davis Cup final. And it served as inspiration for Roddick.

"For us to have our moment, I fell like we really do deserve it," he said. "We've been the ultimate team, and it's just been an honor to be a part of that."