By Jason Brown, USTA.com BIRMINGHAM, Ala.
Andy Roddick in action against Marco Chiudinelli.
© Susan Mullane/Camerawork USA
James Blake in action against Stanislas Wawrinka.
© Susan Mullane/Camerawork USA
– Andy Roddick leveled the first round series between the United States and Switzerland at one point apiece, defeating a game but overmatched 341st-ranked Marco Chiudinelli in straight sets, 6-1, 6-3, 7-6(5), in two hours and three minutes.
Improving his Davis Cup record to 30-11, including a 21-2 mark at home, Roddick continued his assault on the United States’ all-time win list. He equaled Andre Agassi’s 30 singles wins, the second-best tally behind John McEnroe (41) in team history.
Coasting through the first two sets, Chiudinelli picked up his game in the third set, fighting off five Roddick break point opportunities to eventually force a tie-break.
A fantastic exchange at net was highlighted by a diving backhand volley by Roddick and frantic saves from both men. Charged with adrenaline, Roddick high-fived the team bench, and closed out the match in style.
“It was kind of a blur,” said Roddick. “He hit the shot where I dove. I knew if I could dive, I didn't have to hit it that well, because I had a lot of court to work with. I was able to kind of stick it out there. Credit to him, he ran all over the place that point. That ended up probably winning me the match.”
“What a point that was in the tie-break, that’s going to go down as one of the best points of all time” added U.S. Captain Patrick McEnroe.
With the series knotted at 1-1 heading into the pivotal doubles rubber (Saturday at 2 pm EST; Tennis Channel), the indomitable Bryan brothers, Bob and Mike, will take on Yves Allegro and Stanislas Wawrinka.
At 14-2, the Bryans are tied for the most team doubles victories with Wilmer Allison and John Van Ryn, and Peter Fleming and John McEnroe. On Saturday, they could become the all-time winning U.S. doubles pair.
“We couldn’t ask for a better team to have in that position on Saturday,” said Blake, who dropped the series opener to Wawrinka. “Just energize, talent-wise, record-wise, they’re pretty darn good.”
“That's the best team they're going to throw at us,” said Bob Bryan.
In Sunday’s reverse singles matches, the team No. 1’s, Roddick and Wawrinka, will square off followed by the No. 2’s, Blake and Chiudinelli.
All three days of the first round series at the BJCC Arena in Birmingham are sold out. Tennis Channel will air all three days of competition with live daily coverage at 2 pm EST.
The winner of USA-Switzerland will play either Croatia or Chile in the quarterfinal round. If the Americans advance, they are guaranteed to play away for the quarterfinal round, July 10-12, the weekend following the end of Wimbledon.
Davis Cup First Round Results:
Argentina leads Netherlands, 2-0
Czech Republic and France tied, 1-1
Croatia leads Chile, 2-0
Sweden and Israel tied, 1-1
Russia leads Romania, 2-0
Germany and Austria tied, 1-1
Spain vs. Serbia, start delayed until Saturday due to stadium damage