Daily Television Coverage on Versus Starts at 12 Noon ET
Tennis Channel to Rebroadcast Each Day’s Action at 8 P.M.
WHITE PLAINS, N.Y., January 30, 2008 – The USTA and U.S. Davis Cup Captain Patrick McEnroe has announced that the defending champions will start the 2008 campaign with the same roster that brought the title back to the U.S. World No. 6 Andy Roddick, No. 9 James Blake and the No. 1 doubles team of Bob and Mike Bryan will make-up the U.S. squad that will face Austria in the 2008 Davis Cup by BNP Paribas First Round on an indoor red clay court in Vienna’s Ferry Dusika Hallenstadion, February 8-10.
The United States begins defense of its 32nd Davis Cup title with this best-of-five match series in the 16-nation Davis Cup World Group. Should the United States defeat Austria, the U.S. would either host France or travel to Romania for the Davis Cup Quarterfinals in April.
Versus and Tennis Channel will air same-day coverage of all three days of competition. Versus will broadcast each day at 12 noon ET. Tennis Channel will re-air coverage at 8 p.m. The opening day of play in the best-of-five match series features each country's No. 1 singles player against the No. 2 player from the other country. The pivotal doubles match is played Saturday, followed by Sunday’s “reverse singles,” starting with each country’s No. 1 player squaring off followed by the Nos. 2 players in the fifth-and-final match.
“We have a lot of respect for the Austrian team and this will be a tough test for us, especially on clay,” said U.S. Davis Cup Captain Patrick McEnroe, who has led the United States to a 13-6 record since taking over in 2001. “It’s hard to believe that only last month we won the title in Portland. We’re very proud of that achievement, but this is a new year and our guys are ready to show they are up to the challenge once again.”
This is the ninth straight time that U.S. Davis Cup Captain McEnroe has used this lineup – a record for the U.S. Davis Cup team -- dating back to the 2005 World Group Play-off in Belgium. The previous U.S. record was three consecutive ties, held by eight different combinations.
The United States began its title run last year with a first-round win on clay over the Czech Republic in Ostrava (its first World Group win on clay since a 1997 first-round win over Brazil). Roddick clinched the tie with his best win on clay, defeating No. 12 Tomas Berdych in four sets.
Roddick, 25, has a 26-9 record in Davis Cup matches since joining the team in 2001, which places him fourth all-time in singles victories for the U.S. Davis Cup team. He went undefeated last year (6-0) to lead the U.S. to its first Davis Cup title since 1995. He has been the No. 1 player for the United States in all but two appearances – his debut at the 2001 Davis Cup First Round at Switzerland and the 2002 Davis Cup First Round win over the Slovak Republic (behind Pete Sampras) in Oklahoma City.
Blake, 28, has a 17-9 overall record in Davis Cup (14-8 in singles, 3-1 in doubles), having represented the United States in 13 ties over the past seven years. Blake turned professional after completing his sophomore season at Harvard as the No. 1 player in college tennis. In 2001, he became the first former Harvard student to represent the U.S. in Davis Cup in 75 years. Dwight Davis, a senior at Harvard, founded the Davis Cup competition in 1900.
Bob Bryan, 29, half of the No. 1 doubles team in the world, holds a 13-1 record in Davis Cup doubles with twin brother Mike and is 2-2 in singles. The duo won their fifth career Grand Slam doubles title at the 2007 Australian Open. The Bryan brothers have won 44 doubles titles as a team and are the most successful sibling doubles team in the Open Era. Bob also won the mixed doubles titles at the US Open with three different partners: Katarina Srebotnik (2003), Vera Zvonareva (2004) and Martina Navratilova (2006).
Mike Bryan, 29, has played every doubles match for the U.S. Davis Cup team since he and his twin brother, Bob, joined the team in September 2003. They are the only brothers to pair in victory for the United States Davis Cup team. Together they ended 2007 as the No. 1 doubles team in the world for the fourth time in five years. Mike has 46 career ATP doubles titles and won the 2002 US Open and 2003 French Open mixed doubles titles with Lisa Raymond.
Austrian Davis Cup Captain Gilbert Schaller has named world No. 55 Stefan Koubek, No. 61 Werner Eschauer, No. 71 Jurgen Melzer and doubles specialist Julian Knowle to the team that will play in Vienna.
The United States won the two prior meetings with Austria in Davis Cup. In 2004, the U.S. swept Austria, 5-0, in the first round in Uncasville, Conn. Their first meeting in the 1990 semifinals in Vienna was more dramatic. Michael Chang rallied from a two-sets-to-none deficit in the fifth-and-decisive match to defeat Horst Skoff, 3-6, 6-7 (4), 6-4, 6-4, 6-3 to clinch the win for the U.S.
Founded in 1900, Davis Cup is the world’s largest annual international men’s team competition with 127 nations competing this year. The United States leads all nations with 32 Davis Cup titles, having won the event for the first time since 1995 last year.
AIG is the official sponsor of the U.S. Davis Cup team. Wilson is the official ball of the U.S. Davis Cup team.