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It’s never too early to start looking ahead.
Following their impressive 4-1, first-round triumph over the Czech Republic in Ostrava, next up for the United States is a hotly anticipated rematch against Spain.
The 2007 Davis Cup by BNP Paribas World Group Quarterfinal between the U.S. and Spain will be held on April 6-8 at the Lawrence Joel Coliseum in Winston-Salem, N.C.
The tie will be played in an indoor facility, presumably, a fast hard-court surface that complements the Americans’ power game.
We had a great tie there back in 2001," said United States Davis Cup Captain Patrick McEnroe.
"The fans really came out and supported it. It was actually a relegation match against India. We're expecting a huge crowd there. It's a great facility, great town in the South. Traditionally North Carolina has been one of the great – they've supported Davis Cup really well.
It's the first time Andy Roddick and James Blake both played a match, a Davis Cup match, in singles, live matches. To have them come back with all this experience, have Bob and Mike on the team, obviously be playing Spain, marquee country, with we hope Nadal and the rest of their top guys, I think it will be a great event.
I think the indoor court suits both of our singles players as opposed to maybe playing on grass, which obviously would suit Andy. James is a little more comfortable on a hard court. I think for both of them, they'll be very comfortable. These guys can pretty much play on anything, so we're not worried about them (referring to the Bryans). "
In the 2004 Davis Cup final played on a slow red clay court at the Estadio Olimpico in Seville, the United States fell to Spain, 3-2, but demonstrated tremendous courage and gained invaluable experience.
Current teammates Andy Roddick, Bob Bryan and Mike Bryan experienced the record crowd in Seville and are anxious to play the Spaniards again in their own backyard.
They will be joined by James Blake, the fourth-ranked player in the world, now an integral member of the four-man roster.
Rafael Nadal, a two-time defending French Open champion and the world’s second-ranked player, is expected to play for Spain, who defeated Switzerland, 3-2, in the first round.
Looking ahead, if the United States can defeat Spain, they would be in line to travel to either Argentina or Sweden in the World Group Semifinals, Sept. 21-23.
If they meet Argentina, it would be a mortal lock for the tie to be held on a red clay surface, while Sweden could possibly opt for an indoor hard court or carpet.
Also: McEnroe Upbeat About U.S. Team
Related: Roddick Guides U.S. Past Czechs; Improves to 8-0 in Clinchers