Andy Roddick flopped at the U.S. Open. He just might be discovering his mojo at the Davis Cup in Leuven, Belgium.
With the U.S. trying to stay alive in the event's elite group, Roddick delivered an overpowering 6-1, 6-2, 6-3 victory over Christophe Rochus to leave the Americans tied 1-1 with Belgium yesterday after James Blake lost the opening match of the playoff.
"I felt good from the start," said Roddick, who is trying to rebound from his first-round ouster at the U.S. Open. "I controlled the beginning of each set and that was pretty much it."
Earlier, brother Olivier Rochus opened the best-of-five series with a 6-4, 7-5, 6-1 victory over Blake on the indoor red clay at the Sportplaza.
"It put a little more pressure on us," Roddick said.
In today's doubles, twins Bob and Mike Bryan are big favorites against Olivier Rochus and Kristof Vliegen. Tomorrow's reverse singles pits Roddick against Olivier Rochus and Blake against Christophe.
* BASKETBALL: Dirk Nowitzki scored 22 points despite poor shooting to lead Germany past Slovenia, 76-62, and into the semifinals of the European Championship in Belgrade against Spain. Spain advanced by beating Croatia, 100-85, in overtime, with Juan Carlos Navarro scoring the final 12 points of the game. Fran Vasquez scored with three seconds left to tie the game at 73 at the end of regulation.
* PRO FOOTBALL: The NFL fined Denver Broncos Coach Mike Shanahan $20,000 for his criticism of the call that reversed Darrent Williams's punt return for a touchdown last week against San Diego.
Officials called Denver for too many men on the field toward the end of Williams's 61-yard punt return last Sunday after a few Broncos ran off the sideline to prepare for the extra point. None of the Broncos who ran onto the field were within 15 yards of the play.
"It was a horrible call. Horrible call," Shanahan said Monday. "You wouldn't see a lot of calls like that in high school." . . .
Quarterback Michael Vick practiced for the second straight day and likely will start when the Atlanta Falcons visit Buffalo this weekend. . . .
Jaguars quarterback Byron Leftwich and defensive end Reggie Hayward were upgraded to probable, two days before Jacksonville faces the Jets. . . .
Eagles Coach Andy Reid listed Pro Bowl running back Brian Westbook out as a precaution, just as he did with Donovan McNabb and Terrell Owens earlier in the week, but all three players are expected to start Philadelphia's game against Oakland on Sunday.
* SOCCER: Midfielder Jeremy Hall scored on an eight-yard header in the fourth minute, and the United States (2-0-1) tied Ivory Coast, 1-1, to complete play in the first round of the FIFA Under-17 World Championship in Lima, Peru. . . . Bulgarian national soccer team coach Hristo Stoitchkov was banned from the bench for his team's next four games for making "defamatory remarks" after his team's World Cup qualifying match against Sweden.
-- From News Services