WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. Andy Roddick and James Blake dominated Friday to give the United States a 2-0 lead over Spain in the Davis Cup quarterfinals.
Playing just over a week after straining his left hamstring, Roddick shook off a slow start to beat Fernando Verdasco, 7-6 (5), 6-1, 6-4, on the fast, indoor hard court. In the first match of the best-of-five event, Blake broke out of his slump to beat Tommy Robredo, 6-4, 6-3, 6-4
The United States can secure a spot in the semifinals against Sweden or Argentina with a win today by the top-ranked doubles team of Bob and Mike Bryan against Verdasco and Feliciano Lopez.
Sweden, playing at home, led 2-0. In the two other quarterfinals, Germany led Belgium 2-0, and France and Russia were tied 1-1.
"With Andy coming in off a slight injury. I really felt like it was time for James to step up and win a big match," U.S. captain Patrick McEnroe said. "He did, so Andy could come out with a 1-0 lead."
Roddick, who improved to 23-9 in Davis Cup play, trailed 5-3 in the first set before rallying.
Venus ousted in Florida
Amelia Island, Fla. - Venus Williams dropped out of the Baush & Lomb Championships on Friday, falling 6-2, 6-3 to France's Tatiana Golovin. The eighth-seeded Golovin set up a semifinal against sixth-seeded Ana Ivanovic, a 7-5, 6-3 winner over second-seeded Jelena Jankovic in the clay-court tournament.
Top-seeded Nadia Petrova will face 13th-seeded Sybille Bammer in the other semifinal. Petrova beat fifth-seeded Dinara Safina, 6-4, 7-5, and Bammer edged Daniela Hantuchova, 2-6, 6-2, 6-2.