Roddick catapults United States into Davis Cup final

Sep 23, 2007 - 8:37 PM By PA SportsTicker

Andy Roddick's big serve has given the United States another chance to end their historic title drought.

Roddick fired 16 aces en route to recording a 6-2, 7-6 (7-3), 6-4 victory over Sweden's Jonas Bjorkman in the first reserve singles in the semifinals of the Davis Cup at Gothenburg, Sweden, on Sunday.

With his second win in the tie, Roddick secured a decisive 3-1 lead, and booked the Americans' first trip to the final since 2004.

The all-time leader in Davis Cup titles with 31, the United States have not won since 1995, its longest title drought in the event.

The Americans will face defending champion Russia in the final starting on November 30. The Russians wrapped up a 3-2 victory over Germany behind Igor Andreev's four-set victory over Philipp Kohlschriber.

The final will be held in the United States, marking the time that will occur since 1992, when the team of Pete Sampras, Andre Agassi, Jim Courier and John McEnroe beat Switzerland, 3-1, in Fort Worth, Texas.

Facing the 35-year-old Bjorkman for the seventh time, Roddick had very little trouble capturing his fifth win in the all-time series, and first since a showdown in the Davis Cup quarterfinals in 2004.

With the decision already wrapped up, James Blake topped Simon Aspelin, 6-1, 6-3, in the final rubber to secure the 4-1 victory.

It proved to be a historic win for the U.S., as it had dropped its previous three trips to the Scandinavium including the final in 1997.

Roddick is a big fan of the Davis Cup and he showed where his priorities lay after the encounter.

"This is my No. 1 priority for the rest of the year, and I'll be discussing my tournament schedule with (his coach Jimmy Connors) and (U.S. captain Patrick McEnroe) to make sure I look after my body and it's right where it needs to be for the final," he said. "It's what you work for. I'm so proud to be part of this team, I'm so proud of my teammates, I wouldn't trade this team for any in the world.

"I love these guys, and we get another shot at winning the Davis Cup, so I'm really happy right now."

Coming into Sunday with a 2-1 deficit, the Russians pulled out their sixth win in nine head-to-head matchups with the Germans behind Mikhail Youzhny and Andreev at the claycourt Olympic Stadium in Moscow.

Skipped over in the first round of singles and coming up on the short end with doubles teammate Dmitry Tursunov on Saturday, Youzhny posted a 6-4, 6-4, 3-6, 6-3 victory over Philipp Petzschner to level the tie at 2-2.

It was his fourth straight singles win in the Davis Cup dating back to a quarterfinal win over France in 2006.

Andreev, who opened the tie with a three-set win over Tommy Haas on Friday, sealed Russia's third appearance in the final in six years by continuing his success over Kohlschreiber, improving to 5-0 all-time.

"It's an amazing feeling playing here in Moscow and it's the second time I won the deciding point, it's great," Andreev said. "I like this feeling of adrenaline in your body before going on the court, it's so exciting to play here and it's great for our country to reach the Davis Cup Final for the second year in a row."

The Americans and Russians last met in a final in 1995, when Sampras pulled out a three-set victory over Yevgeny Kafelnikov in the first of the two reverse singles to clinch a 3-2 victory in Moscow.

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