US thrash Russia to win Davis Cup final

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Oregon, Dec 3: United States completed its Davis Cup final victory on sunday by defeating Russia 4-1.

Igor Andreev gave the Russians their only win by defeating Bob Bryan 6-3, 7-6 (4) earlier in the day, after the United States had already clinched the title for the first time in 12 years.

Bryan and his brother Mike defeated Andreev and Nikolay Davydenko 7-6 (4), 6-4, 6-2 on Saturday to give the Americans an insurmountable 3-0 advantage.

The first match on the hard court at Memorial Coliseum was supposed to be between Andy Roddick and Mikail Youzhny, but the team captains each made substitutions.

Bob Bryan, a double specialist who played only two ATP-level singles matches this year, plays singles in Davis Cup only in dead rubbers. His Davis Cup record in singles dropped to 2-2, compared to 13-1 in doubles.

Bryan said such meaningless matches are "probably the worst thing in sports."

Andreev improved to 9-3 in Cup singles.

At a ceremony following the final two matches, captain Patrick McEnroe was brimming with pride.

"It's pretty emotional. I think it's finally setting in that these guys did it," McEnroe said. "We won the Cup."

Tursunov easily won his first set over 13th-ranked Blake, but the American, playing loose and often smiling, took the second set.

"Of course, we didn't want to lose 5-love, but today I couldn't take this much too serious ... At least we showed we could fight and maybe make up a little for the score," Andreev said.

Blake broke Tursunov to go up 6-5 in the final set, then held serve for the match.

Bryan said such meaningless matches are "probably the worst thing in sports."

"Imagine Jordan winning an NBA title and having to play a pickup game against the guys he just beat," Bryan said.

The once-dominant United States had not won the Davis Cup since 1995, the longest span without an American victory.

The victory gave the United States its 32nd title in the international team competition, dating to 1900.

On Friday, Roddick defeated Tursunov 6-4, 6-4, 6-2 in the opening match and Blake outlasted Youzhny 6-3, 7-6 (4), 6-7 (3), 7-6 (3) to give the United States a 2-0 advantage going into the deciding doubles.

The best-of-five final was a culmination of a year's worth of international competition. Sunday's reverse singles were shortened to best-of-three sets because the US had already clinched the title.

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.


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