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Tennis

Roddick, Blake get U.S. wins

PORTLAND, Ore. — James Blake held off feisty Mikhail Youzhny 6-3, 7-6 (4), 6-7 (3), 7-6 (3) Friday night to give the United States a 2-0 lead over Russia in the Davis Cup final.

Blake’s victory got the U.S. within one win of its first Davis Cup title since 1995. Earlier, Andy Roddick cruised past Dmitry Tursunov in the opening match on the hard court at Memorial Coliseum.

The crowd was on its feet when Blake went ahead in the final tiebreaker and Youzhny hit into the net for the U.S. victory.

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Roddick got the U.S. off to a fast start, beating Russia’s Dmitry Tursunov 6-4, 6-4, 6-2 in the first match.

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 No. 6 in the world, improved to 6-0 in Davis Cup play this year.

"It’s kind of like ‘so close but so far away.’ There’s no celebration," Roddick said. "It’s one match. The celebration will be saved for when we win, if we win."

Roddick took the first set after he hit an 146-mph serve that No. 34 Tursunov returned long, ending a game that went to deuce four times. The best-of-five final is a culmination of a year’s worth of international competition.

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.

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