Davis Cup final: Roddick defeats Tursunov

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='http://www.ndtv.com/convergence/images/thumbnail/ver1/r/roddick1_ap.jpg' class='caption'> Andy Roddick got the United States off to a fast start in the Davis Cup final, beating Russia's Dmitry Tursunov 6-4, 6-4, 6-2 in the first match on Friday.

Updated: December 02, 2007 08:12 IST
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Portland, Oregon:

Andy Roddick got the United States off to a fast start in the Davis Cup final, beating Russia's Dmitry Tursunov 6-4, 6-4, 6-2 in the first match on Friday.

Roddick threw his hands up in triumph after Tursunov's final return landed long on the hard court in Portland's Memorial Coliseum. The mostly pro-American crowd went wild.

Roddick, ranked Number 6 by the ATP, improved to 6-0 in Davis Cup play this year.

Roddick took the first set after he hit an 235 kph (146 mph) serve that Number 34 Tursunov returned long, ending a game that went to deuce four times.

Roddick let out a growl after holding serve, and the US fans went wild.

Roddick led 2-1 in the second set when Tursunov hit a forehand into the net to finish off the break. He won the set with consecutive aces.

Roddick broke Tursunov again to start the third set. While he high-fived US captain Patrick McEnroe, Tursunov threw up his hands in disgust.

Mikhail Youzhny was scheduled to play 13th-ranked James Blake in the second match on Friday.

Bob and Mike Bryan face Nikolay Davydenko and Igor Andreev in doubles on Saturday, before reverse singles on Sunday.

The once-dominant United States has 31 Davis Cup titles but none in 12 years, the longest span without an American victory.

Pete Sampras last led the team to victory over Russia on clay in Moscow in 1995.

Roddick had 25 aces in the match, which lasted 1 hour, 53 minutes. Tursunov had eight aces.

Russia's captain Shamil Tarpischev pulled a surprise at the draw, leaving fourth-ranked Nikolay Davydenko out of the singles matches - setting up the first match between Roddick and Tursunov.

Davydenko comes into the Davis Cup final at the center of an investigation into unusual betting patterns during a loss to Martin Vassallo Arguello of Argentina at a match in Poland in August.

Betfair, an online gambling company, voided all bets on the match after unusually large amounts were wagered on the lowly ranked Argentine throughout the contest, even after he lost the first set 6-1.

Davydenko retired with an injury in the third set.

Davydenko denies the allegations.

Tursunov is the lowest-ranked member of the Russian team, following Davydenko, Number 19 Youzhny and Number 33 Andreev.

Both Davis Cup teams include the same players from the semifinals, when the United States beat Sweden 4-1 and Russia defeated Germany 3-2.

The United States last hosted the Davis Cup final in 1992, in Fort Worth, Texas. Andre Agassi, Jim Courier, Pete Sampras and John McEnroe defeated Switzerland.

Memorial Coliseum, which seats about 12,800, has hosted two previous Davis Cup events, in 1981 and 1984, both US semifinal victories over Australia.

Friday's event was full of pageantry - as well as enthusiastic fans. With an obviously pro-United States crowd, the Russians had their own smaller, but very boisterous, contingent.

Billie Jean King presided over the coin toss, and Nike co-founder Phil Knight was among the spectators.

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