Roddick To Lead United States Against Russia In Davis Cup Final

Wednesday, November 21st 2007, 8:28 am
By: News On 6

LONDON (AP) _ Andy Roddick will lead the United States against defending champion Russia in the Davis Cup final.

The sixth-ranked Roddick, who has never won a Davis Cup title, was selected along with No. 13 James Blake and the top-ranked doubles pair of Bob and Mike Bryan. The best-of-five series will be played Nov. 30-Dec. 2 on the indoor hard courts of the Memorial Coliseum in Portland, Ore.

The Russian team, which won its second Davis Cup title last year, will be led by No. 4 Nikolay Davydenko, Igor Andreev, Dmitry Tursunov and Mikhail Youzhny, the International Tennis Federation announced Tuesday.

``It's pretty tough because we play in America,'' Davydenko said recently. ``We know we have less chance to win.''

Marat Safin, a two-time Grand Slam champion, had been a candidate to claim one of Russia's four spots but was left off the team.

Safin is 29-18 in the Davis Cup, and he won the decisive point in Russia's 3-2 win over Argentina in the final in Moscow last year.

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

The United States has won a record 31 Davis Cup titles, but none since 1995, when Pete Sampras led the team to victory over Russia on clay in Moscow.

In last year's semifinals, Tursunov put Russia into the final against Argentina by beating Roddick 6-3, 6-4, 5-7, 3-6, 17-15 in reverse singles in the deciding match.

Davydenko, meanwhile, has been at the center of a tennis match-fixing investigation. In August, the Russian withdrew from a match in Poland in the third set against 87th-ranked Martin Vassallo Arguello. An online betting site, in an unprecedented move, then voided bets on the match because of suspicious betting patterns.

The ATP is investigating the incident, and Davydenko has denied involvement.

Since then, Davydenko has twice been accused of not trying his best by chair umpires, first in St. Petersburg, Russia, and then earlier this month at the Paris Masters.

Davydenko was originally fined $2,000 by the ATP for ``lack of best effort'' for the 1-6, 7-5, 6-1 loss to Marin Cilic in October at the St. Petersburg Open, but the penalty was dropped during the Masters Cup in Shanghai, China.