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Blake makes it 1-1 for US

James Blake won in straight sets on Friday to give the United States a split of the opening singles with Romania, the opening day of their Davis Cup World Group tie

india Updated: Feb 11, 2006 16:27 IST

James Blake won in straight sets on Friday to give the United States a split of the opening singles with Romania, the opening day of their Davis Cup World Group tie. Blake defeated Victor Hanescu 6-4, 7-6 (7/5), 6-2 following Andrei Pavel's 6-7 (2/7), 2-6, 7-6 (10/8), 6-2, 6-4 upset of Roddick. "It's great," Roddick said. "When you're part of a team, you pitch in and pick each other up."

American twins Bob and Mike Bryan will face Pavel and Hanescu in doubles in Saturday's only match. The singles players switch opponents for Sunday's closing matches.

Blake, ranked No. 20, played a steady, efficient match and took command in the third set against No. 41 Hanescu.

"I was very impressed with James' play," U.S. captain Patrick McEnroe said. "I think he's taken his game up a level or two." Pavel, No. 82, fought off match point in the third set after Roddick grew ill.

Roddick, No. 3, vomited several times on the sidelines during changeovers and also took a timeout because his right hand cramped up. Dehydrated, he spent almost two hours after the match taking fluid intravenously.

Roddick led 7-6 in the third-set tiebreaker, with two serves coming up. But he lost both and Pavel went on to win when Roddick netted one forehand and hit another long for the final point of the set.

Pavel dominated the fourth set, then built a 5-1 lead in the fifth before Roddick fought back to close within one game. The 32-year-old Pavel, nine years older than Roddick, came back to put the match away.

Roddick vomited several times on the sidelines during changeovers and took a timeout because his right hand cramped up during the third-set tiebreaker. Dehydrated, he spent a long time after the match getting fluids through an IV.

Roddick, who said he definitely would be available to play on Sunday, wasn't sure what caused him to feel nauseous. He said he hadn't eaten anything unusual.

"That was the worst I've felt after a match," he said. "I've cramped before, but I still felt like I had energy. This time, I felt drained."

Pavel realized Roddick was in trouble.

"I saw that his body was not fit any more," Pavel said. "Sometimes, when somebody's injured, he's going to hit as hard as he can and try to shorten the points. I sensed it in the fourth set. My strategy was to make him run a lot."

The United States hasn't won the Davis Cup since 1995, and was eliminated by eventual champion Croatia in the first round last year.

Roddick was coming off a fourth-round loss to Marcos Baghdatis in the Australian Open.

First Published: Feb 11, 2006 16:27 IST