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NEWS

Roddick, Venus Williams, U.S. Davis Cup Team Nominated for USOC Awards

May 25, 2008 01:28 PM

Andy Roddick, Venus Williams and the 2007 U.S. Davis Cup team have been nominated by the USTA to receive the USOC Sportsman, Sportswoman and Team of the Year awards.

The USOC Sportsman and Sportswoman of the Year awards have been presented annually since 1974 to the top overall male and female athletes within the U.S. Olympic Family. In 1996 a team category was added to recognize the outstanding achievements of athletes who might not have been eligible for the other awards, and in 2004 a Paralympian of the Year was also honored.

Roddick finished the year ranked sixth in the world and with a 56-16 singles record. His season was highlighted by leading the United States to its first Davis Cup title in 12 years, going undefeated (5-0) at No. 1 singles for Team USA and playing in all four ties this year. He won two singles title on the ATP Tour in 2007 in Memphis and Queen's Club and was one of eight players to qualify for the season-ending Tennis Masters Cup.

Roddick accepted the Arthur Ashe Institute for Urban Health’s 2007 Humanitarian Award on behalf of the Andy Roddick Foundation and hosted two major fundraising events for the Andy Roddick Foundation -- a charity gala in Austin, Texas, in October and the 7th Annual Andy Roddick Foundation Charity Weekend in December. His foundation provides children in need with quality education and other necessary resources.

In a season that was cut short at the beginning and end due to injuries, Williams posted a 50-10 singles record and won three titles, including the fourth of her career at Wimbledon. At the All England Club, Williams defeated three of the top six players in the world in successive matches -- No. 2 Maria Sharapova, No. 5 Svetlana Kuznetsova and No. 6 Ana Ivanovic -- en route to winning the 2007 championship and becoming the lowest-ranked (No. 31) and lowest-seeded (No. 23) player ever to win. In addition to Wimbledon, she won WTA Tour titles at Memphis in February (her first tournament appearance of the year after missing the Australian Open), and Seoul, South Korea, in October.

Venus represented the United States in Fed Cup competition this year -- her first appearance since 2005 -- going 4-0 in singles and 0-1 in doubles, as the U.S. defeated Belgium in the first round, 5-0, and lost to eventual champion Russia in the semifinals, 3-2. Ranked No. 17 in the world at the time, she upset two top-10 players during the Fed Cup semifinals (No. 8 Anna Chakvetadze and No. 9 Nadia Petrova). She ended the year in the top 10 (No. 8) after starting the season ranked No. 46.

Williams partnered with WTA and UNESCO to launch the women’s leadership and global gender equality ad campaign. She also founded Eleven, the largest clothing line ever launched by a female athlete, which features high-quality merchandise at low prices (nothing over $20).

The U.S. Davis Cup team, comprised of Roddick, James Blake, Bob Bryan, Mike Bryan and Captain Patrick McEnroe, went 4-0 to win the Davis Cup title for the first time in 12 years. The U.S. team defeated the Czech Republic, Spain, Sweden and finally Russia to capture the Davis Cup, ending its longest title drought since the event began in 1900. The win extended the United States’ record to 32 titles, most among all nations.

Nominations for the prestigious USOC awards were due by Dec. 14. Winners will be announced on Jan. 8, 2008.

 

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