Andy Roddick, Mardy Fish and twins Bob and Mike Bryan will represent the United States in its quest for a record 32nd Davis Cup title next month. The four players were named yesterday by U.S. Davis Cup captain Patrick McEnroe to face Spain, the world's top-ranked Davis Cup team, in the Davis Cup final Dec. 3-5 in Seville, Spain.
The best-of-five match series will be played before 22,00 partisan fans on clay, a surface that favors the host country, and will mark the first meeting between the United States and Spain in a Davis Cup final.
"Our guys are fairly comfortable on clay, but it's not our best surface," McEnroe said in a telephone interview yesterday. "I think the key for us is to be physically in great shape."
The same squad of Americans qualified the United States for the final with a 4-0 sweep of Belarus in September. The United States is ranked fifth in Davis Cup play.
"We're the underdogs," McEnroe conceded, "but I think all of our guys are capable of going there and winning a match. It's the sort of mind-set of looking each guy in the eye and saying, 'Hey, if you win one match, we're walking away with the Cup.' "
Roddick, the top U.S. singles player, has struggled on clay at the French Open but has had success on the slow surface elsewhere. The Bryan twins were French Open doubles champions in 2003.
Clay-court specialists Carlos Moya and Juan Carlos Ferrero have been tapped to play singles for Spain; Tommy Robredo and Rafael Nadal will play doubles.
The United States last played in a Davis Cup final in 1997. Its last win came in 1995, when Pete Sampras accounted for all three points in a 3-2 upset of Russia.
-- Liz Clarke