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Contentious match ends with U.S. facing big deficit

May 25, 2008 01:18 PM
David Ferrer defeated Andy Roddick to give Spain a 2-0 lead.
Andy Roddick serves to David Ferrer.
RELATED: Nadal defeats Querrey

By Jason Brown, USTA.com

Madrid, SPAIN – After a hotly-contested match that ended with U.S. team leader Andy Roddick frustrated by missed chances and miffed by a boisterous crowd, David Ferrer gave Spain a commanding 2-0 lead in the best-of-five semifinal series with a 7-6 (5), 2-6, 1-6, 6-4, 8-6 victory.

One point away from the brink of elimination, the defending Davis Cup champions are 1-31 when down 0-2.

“I’m disappointed that we’re down 2-0, but overall, I’m very happy with the way our guys played,” said U.S. Davis Cup Captain Patrick McEnroe. “We competed hard and played well. We have a lot to be proud of from our performance today.”

Ferrer, the No. 5-ranked player in the world, snapped Roddick’s career-best nine-match Davis Cup winning streak. Roddick fell to 29-10 in Davis Cup singles play and a career 2-4 against Ferrer.

Even in a losing effort, one of the better clay-court performances of Roddick’s Davis Cup career, the match got better as day-time turned into dusk.

“I thought the level of both players in the fifth set was high,” said Roddick. “I thought I played a bad game at the beginning of the four set and after that, he definitely raised his level.”

For most of the match, a passionate display of national pride was on full display, the Spanish fans encircling the court waving flags and singing beautiful anthems

But as the match grew tense deep in the fifth set, whistles and interruptions, particularly between first and second serves from Roddick, irked the Texan. Reminiscent of the 2004 final in Seville, Roddick knew full well what to expect, but became emotional with the match hanging in the balance.

“I thought the crowd was pretty fair. I thought they were very into the match, it was a nice atmosphere,” said McEnroe.

“Certainly at the end of Andy’s match, a couple of people started shouting out in the middle of that game. As I told Andy afterwards, that happens. It’s frustrating at the time – Andy fought his butt and played great and was very close to winning a huge match for us – but I kind of think that’s what you expect in a match like that.”

A must-win for the United States, Mike Bryan and Mardy Fish will test their new partnership at Madrid’s Las Ventas bullfighting ring against Feliciano Lopez and Fernando Verdasco on Saturday afternoon at 3 pm (9 am ET) in the pivotal doubles rubber.

In the 2007 quarterfinals at the Joel Coliseum in Winston-Salem, N.C., the Bryan brothers won the series-clinching point over Spain’s Lopez and Verdasco. This year, the Spanish duo will attempt to do the same to the Americans.

“We’ve had a lot of tough tests and a lot of big matches – playing in the final a couple of times – and the guys have responded,” said McEnroe.

“Obviously, we’re down 0-2, so we’re in trouble. But I’m happy with how the guys played and how they handled themselves.”

Versus will broadcast same-day coverage of the entire semifinal series from Madrid daily at 12 noon ET. Tennis Channel will re-air coverage at 8 pm ET.


SPAIN v USA (Spain Leads 2-0)
Plaza de Toros Las Ventas, Madrid, Spain (clay - outdoors)

Rafael Nadal (ESP) def. Sam Querrey (USA), 6-7(5), 6-4, 6-3, 6-4
David Ferrer (ESP) def. Andy Roddick (USA), 7-6(5), 2-6, 1-6, 6-4, 8-6
Feliciano Lopez/Fernando Verdasco (ESP) v Mike Bryan/Mardy Fish (USA)
Rafael Nadal (ESP) v Andy Roddick (USA)
David Ferrer (ESP) v Sam Querrey (USA)

ARGENTINA v RUSSIA (Argentina Leads 2-0)
Estadio Parque Roca, Buenos Aires (clay - outdoors)

David Nalbandian (ARG) def. Igor Andreev (RUS), 7-6(5), 6-2, 6-4
Juan Martin Del Potro (ARG) def. Nikolay Davydenko (RUS), 6-1, 6-4, 6-2
Agustin Calleri/Guillermo Canas (ARG) v Igor Kunitsyn/Dmitry Tursunov (RUS)
David Nalbandian (ARG) v Nikolay Davydenko (RUS)
Juan Martin Del Potro (ARG) v Igor Andreev (RUS)



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