Roddick ready to lead US against Chile in Davis Cup
American top gun Andy Roddick was drawn against Nicolas Massu on Thursday as United States prepared to take on Chile in a best-of-five Davis Cup world group first-round tie.
Despite playing on clay in hostile territory, the US is heavily favoured to advance against a Chilean lineup that does not have a player ranked in world's the top 150 and is missing their Davis Cup stalwart, injured Fernando Gonzalez.
After being unavailable for Davis Cup duty last year due to injury, Roddick, the world number eight, will lead the American charge taking on number 224 Massu in the opening match.
Number 34 John Isner will face 165th-ranked Paul Capdeville in Friday's other singles clash while twins Bob and Mike Bryan, the world's top ranked doubles team, face Jorge Aguilar and Massu on Saturday.
None of the Chileans has won a tour-level singles match this year.
The tie marks Jim Courier's debut as U.S. captain.
Throughout his playing career Courier was a U.S. Davis Cup regular and expects the same type of commitment from his men in Chile.
"As a player I thought this is something that, if given the opportunity, I would want to take advantage of," said Courier. "It is well documented how passionate I am for the Davis Cup competition..."
Chile will hope to get a boost from a raucous home crowd and a slow clay surface that is not a favourite of the big-serving Americans.
Roddick can also expect a tough fight with Massu, who holds a 3-1 record against the American, including 2-0 on clay.
"One of the things about Davis Cup is that the home team has the advantage to set the conditions that they like," said Courier. "Having said that, we are pretty comfortable in these conditions.
"We have had pretty good practices this week. The altitude certainly helps serves and we have four great servers on this team."