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Davis Cup: Roddick Planning To Play For U.S.

May 25, 2008 01:28 PM

U.S. Davis Cup team transcript
Spanish Davis Cup team transcript

By Jason Brown, USTA.com

Winston-Salem, N.C. – Practicing, pain-free and upbeat on his playing status, Andy Roddick shed some light on the million-dollar question surrounding the U.S. Davis Cup team.

At the team press conference at the Joel Coliseum in Winston-Salem on Tuesday, Roddick revealed that he has been practicing with the club as they prepare to take on Spain in the World Group Quarterfinals, April 6-8.

“It’s fine,” said Roddick on his hamstring injury that he incurred during the first set of his match against Andy Murray last week in the Sony Ericsson Open quarterfinals.

“I've been practicing. I don't know if it's 100 percent, but it's getting better daily, so that's a good thing.”

Roddick, the team leader with a singles record of 22-9, is a career 7-0 against Tommy Robredo of Spain, including a straight-sets victory in Davis Cup competition in 2002.

He has taken two of three matches against David Ferrer, Spain’s likely No. 2 singles player, including a straight-sets victory a few weeks ago at the Sony Ericsson Open.

“Well, you're fearful until you know what happens,” continued Roddick. “You kind of always just fear the worst when it pops into your head. I didn't know much. Then when we got the MRI, I guess it was as good as it could have been for that type of injury. We left the hospital that day knowing that there was a chance that I could play, so that was welcome news at that point.”

While his teammates James Blake, Bob Bryan, Mike Bryan and Mardy Fish toured and road-tested the track at the Lowe’s Motor Speedway outside of Charlotte on Monday, Roddick was en route to Winston-Salem.

There, he has received constant medical attention from team trainer (and personal tour trainer) Doug Spreen while working out and practicing on the tennis court for the first time since retiring in Key Biscayne.

Asked if he was ready to play this weekend against Spain, Roddick replied, “That’s the plan right now, yeah. Barring some setback, I’m gonna play. I started playing some points this morning, and those went OK, so right now I’m gonna play.”

“There's daily ice and electrical stimulation and laser treatments and all sorts of stuff,” said Roddick. “Three days after Miami, I literally spent about three or four hours a day on a table just with my trainer -- our trainer – Doug Spreen, just working on it. I think that expedited the recovery process.”

Traveling with the team as a practice partner, Fish would be U.S. Captain Patrick McEnroe’s insurance policy to fill a singles role if Roddick cannot suit up.

Fish, ranked No. 22, last competed for his country in the 2004 Davis Cup Final in Seville, Spain. The second practice partner, 19-year-old Sam Querrey, presents another alternative.

"I think he looks pretty good,” said McEnroe, who expects his No. 1 singles player to compete on Friday, which would keep Blake in a familiar role as the No. 2 player with the Bryans manning the doubles rubber.

“I think, as he said, our intention is that he's going to play. The court is suiting all of our guys really well, so the guys are really comfortable and happy with the conditions. I think Andy's going to be – I think he'll be 100 percent. I think he's very close right now. So a couple more good days of practice, and he's certainly not going to – I'm not going to let him go out there if he's not 100 percent. So certainly all signs point to him being 100 percent to play two matches.”

The official Davis Cup by BNP Paribas Draw Ceremony will be held on Thursday at 12 p.m. Eastern at the Joel Coliseum.

Versus will air live daily coverage from Winston-Salem at 2 p.m. Eastern, and The Tennis Channel will air a primetime rebroadcast each evening beginning at 8 p.m.

April 62:00 - 6:00 PM ET (Live)VersusSingles
April 68:00 PM ET (Encore)Tennis ChannelSingles
April 72:00 - 3:00 PM ET (Live)VersusDoubles
April 78:00 PM ET (Encore)Tennis ChannelDoubles
April 82:00 - 5:00 PM ET (Live)VersusSingles
April 88:00 PM ET (Encore)Tennis ChannelSingles
*All Times Eastern

Recovering Roddick expects to play for U.S. in Davis Cup



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