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Davis Cup: Roddick Tops Mathieu; Delivers U.S. Semifinal Berth

April 13, 2008 04:40 PM

By Jason Brown, USTA.com

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. – Like he’s done time and again, Andy Roddick secured the clinching point for the United States.

Andy Roddick hits a return to Paul-Henri Mathieu (GABRIEL BOUYS/AFP/Getty Images)
Before 10,082 fans inside the Joel Coliseum, Roddick defeated Paul-Henri Mathieu of France in straight sets, 6-2, 6-3, 6-2, clinching the United States a berth in the 2008 World Group Semifinals.

Making quick work of Mathieu in just one hour and 37 minutes, Roddick laced 17 aces and a combined 47 for the series.

“I had a four-hour scouting report when James played him on Friday,” said Roddick.

The best closer in U.S. Davis Cup history, Roddick improved to a perfect 10-0 when given the opportunity to clinch.

Last year, Roddick clinched two series – the first round against the Czech Republic in Ostrava and the semifinal against Sweden in Gothenburg.

French Captain Guy Forget tried to convince 10th-ranked Richard Gasquet to play in the first match Sunday but was unable to get through to the talented but frustratingly enigmatic player.

The visiting nation waited until minutes before the ITF deadline of an hour before match time on Sunday to announce that no changes would be made to its lineup.

Instead, Gasquet played the final match of the best-of-five weekend series against James Blake in a shortened best-of-three set format.

The U.S. will travel to Spain the weekend of Sept. 19-21 in a rematch of the 2004 Davis Cup Final played before a record crowd in Seville.

“We’re going to have to get dirty out there,” said Roddick. “Even if they put down a surface I don’t like, I think I’ll be there.”

“Everyone knows we’ll be the underdog,” said U.S. Captain Patrick McEnroe. “It’ll be the ultimate challenge.”

Spain defeated the United States, 3-2, to clinch the championship. James Blake, Mardy Fish and the Bryan brothers competed in the final.

In the top half of the 2008 World Group draw, Russia will meet Argentina.

Russia defeated the Czech Republic in the quarterfinals, 3-2, after Tomas Berdych of the Czech Republic was forced to retire leading 2-1 in the fifth set against Nikolay Davydenko of Russia.

Playing at home, Argentina survived Sweden, 3-1, behind the strength of a marathon David Nalbandian five-set victory over Robin Soderling of Sweden.

The 2008 Davis Cup Final will be staged from Nov. 21-23.




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