The United States is one victory from a showdown with Spain in the Davis Cup quarterfinals.
Twins Bob and Mike Bryan put the Americans ahead of Chile, 2-1, in the first round yesterday by beating the doubles team of Jorge Aguilar and Nicolas Massu, 6-3, 6-3, 7-6 (7-4), in Santiago, Chile.
Andy Roddick, playing Davis Cup for the first time since 2009, will be in position to clinch the best-of-five series when he faces Paul Capdeville in the first match today.
Jim Courier, debuting this weekend as US Davis Cup captain, is not thinking about a July date with Spain, which eliminated Belgium, 3-0. Courier played on winning Davis Cup teams in 1992 and 1995 and wants to get the job done first in Santiago.
“We’re two-thirds of the way there, but nothing is taken for granted,’’ he said. “We have to come ready to win the last point. That has to be our approach as boring and simple as it is.’’
Roddick, who led the Americans to the 2007 Davis Cup title, is 11-0 when in position to clinch a Davis Cup. In the second singles, the Americans send John Isner against Massu.
In the opening match Friday, Roddick beat Massu in four sets and Isner squandered a two-sets lead in losing to Capdeville.
Elsewhere in the first round of the World Group, Argentina (over Romania) and Sweden (over Russia) advanced to the quarterfinals on 3-0 victories. France (over Austria), Germany (over Croatia), Serbia (over India), and the Czech Republic (over Kazakhstan) all hold 2-1 leads heading into today’s reverse singles matches.
The Bryans, the No. 1 doubles team, are 17-2 when playing Davis Cup doubles together and 10-0 when playing Davis Cup doubles away from home.
“These guys come ready to play every day,’’ Courier said.
The Bryans breezed through the first two sets but were broken in the fifth game of the third set on a third break point. The American brothers broke back in the 10th game and won the match on the second match point of the tiebreaker when Massu netted a forehand.
“It was a sticky situation,’’ Bob Bryan said. “We had the momentum and they had the crowd. We just got really calm, and went into a zone.’’
Spain swept into the quarterfinals as Fernando Verdasco and Feliciano Lopez beat Belgium’s Steve Darcis and Olivier Rochus, 7-6 (7-0), 6-4, 6-3, in Charleroi, Belgium. Spain hasn’t dropped a set in the three matches.
In other clinching matches, Argentina bounced Romania in Buenos Aires as Juan Ignacio Chela and Eduardo Schwank defeated Victor Hanescu and Horia Tecau, 6-2, 7-6 (10-8), 6-1. And Simon Aspelin and Robert Lindstedt beat Russia’s Igor Kunitsyn and Dmitry Tursunov, 6-4, 6-7 (6-8), 7-6 (8-6), 6-2, in Boras, Sweden, to seal the victory.