The U. S. Davis Cup tennis team begins its quest for a 32nd championship - and its first since 1995 - when it hosts Russia in a best-of-five final series starting (Friday 2100 UTC) in Portland, Oregon. As VOA's Steve Schy reports, the draw was held on Thursday and top American Andy Roddick will face Dmitri Tursunov in his opening singles match.
Despite the U.S. team's record 31 Davis Cup titles, Roddick has never been a part of a winning squad. The 25-year-old American should be especially motivated against Tursunov, who beat him 17-15 in the fifth set of last year’s decisive reverse-singles match that gave Russia the title.
But Roddick says that winning the title is all that matters.
"If I lose to him and I lose to everybody else and we win I don't really care,” Roddick said. “It's about the culmination of a year. We are here to get three points as a team. That's the goal."
James Blake will face Russia's Mikhail Youzhny in Friday's other singles match.
In Saturday's doubles, the top-ranked American team of Bob and Mike Bryan will take on Nikolay Davydenko and Igor Andreev. In Sunday's reverse singles, Roddick battles Youzhny while Blake challenges Tursunov.
The United States holds a 2-1 all-time advantage over Russia in Davis Cup play. However, the Americans have not won the coveted trophy since 1995 - when they beat Russia, 3-2 in Moscow.