The United States has taken a 2-0 lead over Russia after the first day of play at the best-of-five match Davis Cup Tennis finals in Portland, Oregon. As VOA's Steve Schy reports from Memorial Coliseum, Americans Andy Roddick and James Blake both won their opening singles matches.
Roddick dominated Dmitry Tursunov in straight sets, getting revenge for last year's 17-15 fifth-set loss that gave Russia the 2006 title. The 25-year-old American fired 25 aces and broke Tursunov's serve four times on the way to a 6-4, 6-4, 6-2 win.
With Roddick leading 5-2 in the final set, the crowd stood and cheered during the final game as he served out the match. Roddick says the home-crowd support meant a lot to him. "It's amazing. I mean, I have kind of thought about it for a long time and the crowd was amazing. I mean, that last game when they just stood up was probably one of the coolest moments of my career so far. And you know we are a third of the way there, which is even more important."
James Blake gave Team USA a 2-0 lead with a hard-fought win in the second singles match, overcoming Mikhail Youzhny, 6-3, 7-6, 6-7, 7-6. Blake says his previous Davis Cup experience has taught him he has to play an aggressive style. "If I would have gone out and played this match soft and a little tentative and playing not to lose, I would have been sitting here a loser. That's for sure. So I know I had to play that way and there was a chance I was still going to lose but I had to go out and give myself the best opportunity."
On Saturday, the United States will have the chance to earn its first Davis Cup title since 1995, when twin brothers Bob and Mike Bryan are scheduled to face Russia's Nikolay Davydenko and Igor Andreev in doubles.