November 11, 2004
McEnroe goes with squad that beat Belarus
NEW YORK -- Andy Roddick and Mardy Fish will play singles for the United States in next month's Davis Cup final in Spain, with twins Bob and Mike Bryan in doubles.
The best-of-five final will be held on clay Dec. 3-5 in Seville, and the United States will be trying to capture its first title since Pete Sampras led the team to the 1995 championship. The Americans have won the title a record 31 times, but this is their first appearance in the final since 1997.
Davis Cup captain Patrick McEnroe announced his lineup Thursday, going with the same squad that beat Belarus in the semifinals. The Americans also defeated Austria and Sweden en route to the final.
"We've got a great chemistry and camaraderie on the team," McEnroe said. "I think that's important in Davis Cup."
Spain, the Davis Cup champion in 2000, is playing in the final for the third time in five years. It will have the advantage of a home crowd and will be led by Juan Carlos Ferrero and Carlos Moya, two former No. 1 players and French Open champions. Rafael Nadal and Tommy Robredo also are on the squad, with Feliciano Lopez and Fernando Verdasco the substitutes.
This is the same squad Spain used in the quarterfinals against the Netherlands and the semifinals against France.
"Playing against a Spanish team that includes two former world No. 1 players and two French Open champions on a clay court before 15,000 fans is the ultimate challenge and test for our team," McEnroe said. "Nothing would be sweeter and more satisfying than to win the Davis Cup in this environment and our guys are certainly excited about the opportunity that is in front of them."
Roddick, ranked No. 2, has a 14-3 Davis Cup record in singles since joining the team in 2001 and has not lost a set in six Davis Cup singles matches this year.
Fish, ranked No. 37, won the silver medal at the Athens Olympics. He has been a Davis Cup player since 2002, holding a 4-4 record.
McEnroe picked Fish over players such as Vince Spadea, who has had some success on clay.
"The bottom line is that he's the guy that gives us the best chance to win a match in the second singes match," McEnroe said of Fish.
The Bryan brothers have won 20 doubles titles as a team entering the 2004 Tennis Masters Cup in Houston. They have yet to lose a set in Davis Cup play.
The United States leads 4-2 in its series with Spain. In their last matchup, the United States won 3-1 in the 2002 Davis Cup quarterfinal in Houston. This will be the first time they have met in a final.
Just one match, Mardy. That's all you have to do: win ONE match on clay.
Check out this pic of Mardy and Andy I found on Yahoo. It was taken in 2002.