Roddick's win sends U.S. to quarterfinals

Associated Press

SAN DIEGO -- With a chance to send the United States to the Davis Cup quarterfinals, Andy Roddick wanted to pace himself and make sure he finished the job.

After growing nauseated and losing his opening match two days earlier, Roddick had a methodical, straight-set win over Romania's Razvan Sabau on Sunday to move the Americans into the next round against Chile.

"I was just trying to maintain energy and keep on an even keel out there today," Roddick said after his 6-3, 6-3, 6-2 win.

Following Roddick's loss to Andrei Pavel in the best-of-five opener, U.S. captain Patrick McEnroe pointed out how fired-up Roddick gets for Davis Cup matches, and said he hoped to help him remain calm for his second match.


"I just wanted him to stay relaxed, not get too hyped-up," McEnroe explained after Roddick's win over Sabau. "I wanted to see him sort of calm out there, trust his game and his ability."

The 23-year-old Roddick said he's constantly learning, and wasn't sure whether the "calm" approach would work every time.

"Even the calmest guys, you see Pete (Sampras) get fired up sometimes," he said. "But I think it's something that can definitely be learned, and especially in Davis Cup matches when tensions are high, kind of learn just to take at down a little bit.

"Maybe today was the start of it, who knows?"

His victory gave the Americans an insurmountable 3-1 lead, then James Blake made the final 4-1 with his closing singles victory.

Blake and the doubles team of Mike and Bob Bryan provided the first two U.S. victories, then Blake capped the first round with a 6-1, 7-5 win over Horia Tecau in what essentially was an exhibition match shortened to two sets.

Roddick was up two sets and had match point against Pavel in Friday's opening match when the American became ill, vomited and grew dehydrated. Pavel came back to win in five sets.

Roddick, who wasn't sure what caused him to be ill, said he finally was able to eat again on Saturday night, and that he felt "OK" during the match against Sabau, on a warm, sunny day at the La Jolla Beach &; Tennis Club courts.


Sabau, ranked No. 112 to Roddick's No. 3, filled in for injured teammate Victor Hanescu. Hanescu, No. 41, tore ligaments in his left side during doubles the previous day and had to quit after the first set, won 6-2 by the Bryans.

Blake had beaten Hanescu in straight sets Friday to even the matches 1-1 after Roddick lost to Pavel.

Sabau won some points against Roddick with his forehand and drop shots, but was ineffective with his serve and backhand. Roddick's first serves often were in the mid-130 mph range. Even his second serves, usually from 105-110 mph, were faster than many of Sabau's first serves.

Roddick, who wasn't particularly pleased with his serving, still had 17 aces to one by Sabau, and three double-faults to nine by the Romanian.

"I wish I could have done more than I did because I saw that Roddick was not 100 percent," Sabau said. "I saw him playing a different tactic. He was defensive and he stayed a long distance behind the baseline.

"I was expecting him to attack me."

The United States assured itself a home date and choice of playing surface against Chile for the April 7-9 matches. The site and surface are to be determined.

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