Andy Roddick is reportedly healthy and ready to take advantage of a Rafael Nadal-less Spanish team this weekend in Davis Cup quarterfinal play on the American’s home hardcourt turf at the Lawrence Joel Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Winston-Salem, NC.
Struggling world No. 9-ranked James Blake will open play for the U.S. on Friday against No. 6-ranked Tommy Robredo, an opponent he has beaten in three of their four career hardcourt meetings, putting even more pressure on the shaky Blake.
Blake started the year out strong with a title at Sydney and a runner-up effort at Delray Beach, but in his last five outings has lost to Czech Tomas Berdych in Davis Cup play, lost second round to “Dr.” Ivo Karlovic at San Jose squandering a set lead, lost second round at Las Vegas to Evgeny Korolev, lost second round at the Masters Series Indian Wells to Julien “United Colors of” Benneteau, and in his opening round at the MS-Miami to Florent Serra. Not a great look for captain Patrick McEnroe coming into Cup play, but the U.S. bench is particularly shallow in 2007.
Roddick will take the court in the second match against explosive lefty Fernando “Hot Sauce” Verdasco, a lid-lifting choice by the Spaniards over expected insertion David Ferrer.
Roddick is 5-2 career versus the Spanish Hot Sauce, but Spanish captain Emilio Sanchez figures the gamble is worthwhile considering the American barely came out ahead in their last meeting in five sets at last year’s US Open.
Saturday’s doubles will feature the American Bryan brothers against likely (always be ready for the surprise last-minute change in Davis Cup) opponents Verdasco and Feliciano “F-Lo” Lopez. The Bryans are 10-1 career in the Davis Cup competition, and currently top the ATP Doubles Team Rankings.
The Versus cable station (formerly OLN) will air live daily coverage throughout the weekend, and The Tennis Channel will air a rebroadcast:
April 6 2:00 PM ET (Live) Versus Singles
April 6 8:00 PM ET (Encore) Tennis Channel Singles
April 7 2:00 PM ET (Live) Versus Doubles
April 7 8:00 PM ET (Encore) Tennis Channel Doubles
April 8 2:00 PM ET (Live) Versus Singles
April 8 8:00 PM ET (Encore) Tennis Channel Singles
In other quarterfinal ties:
France at Russia
Nikolay Davydenko (RUS) v Paul-Henri Mathieu (FRA)
Mikhail Youzhny (RUS) v Richard Gasquet (FRA)
Sebastien Grosjean/Michael Llodra (FRA) v Igor Andreev/Marat Safin (RUS)
Nikolay Davydenko (RUS) v Richard Gasquet (FRA)
Mikhail Youzhny (RUS) v Paul-Henri Mathieu (FRA)
Argentina at Sweden
Thomas Johansson (SWE) v David Nalbandian (ARG)
Robin Soderling (SWE) v Juan-Martin Del Potro(ARG)
Jonas Bjorkman/Robert Lindstedt (SWE) v David Nalbandian/Sebastian Prieto (ARG)
Robin Soderling (SWE) v David Nalbandian (ARG)
Thomas Johansson (SWE) v Juan-Martin Del Potro (ARG)
Germany at Belgium
Kristof Vliegen (BEL) v Tommy Haas (GER)
Olivier Rochus (BEL) v Philipp Kohlschreiber (GER)
Dick Norman/Christophe Rochus (BEL) v Michael Kohlmann/Alexander Waske (GER)
Olivier Rochus (BEL) v Tommy Haas (GER)
Kristof Vliegen (BEL) v Philipp Kohlschreiber (GER)
Also Check Out:
Roddick Launches Cash Attack on ATP, Handling of Davydenko Incident
Belgium Sits Rochus, Nadal Opens Against Bemelmans; Can Massu “Damage” Roddick?
Live Blog Here During U.S. Davis Cup at Tennis-X
Roddick Unsure of Future in Davis Cup, But Interested in Captaincy
What’s Not on Live TV: Tursunov Beats Roddick to Clinch Russian Davis Cup Win