Goldfine will captain Davis Cup team vs. Chile

4/5/2006 - Tennis

RANCHO MIRAGE, Calif. -- Andy Roddick and Dean Goldfine will have to put their history behind them.

With captain Patrick McEnroe's wife due to give birth, Goldfine -- whom Roddick fired as his coach in February -- will guide the United States Davis Cup team against Chile in its quarterfinal tie this weekend.

An assistant with the team, Goldfine was Roddick's coach from the end of 2004 until February, when the struggling 2003 U.S. Open champion let him go and hired his older brother, John Roddick.

Still, Andy Roddick maintained Tuesday that everything will be fine for Friday's quarterfinal tie.

"Patrick came to us and said, you know, 'My wife's due right around the second-round tie,'" Roddick said. "I think this was after the first-round tie [in February]. He said, 'I really don't know if I'm going to make it.'

"He asked all of us individually who we thought would be a good stand-in to kind of run the week and be on the court with us. We all said Dean. So, you know, it was kind of what we wanted. It is something that we're all comfortable with."

Goldfine also said he doesn't expect any problems.

"In terms of running the team, I mean, it's pretty much the same as it always is," Goldfine said. "I've been, obviously, to quite a few ties with these guys and see how Patrick runs the show. So it's pretty much status quo."

The U.S. team is comprised of Roddick, James Blake and twins Bob and Mike Bryan. The same quartet defeated Romania, 4-1, in the first round, after beating Belgium on clay on the road last September to advance to this year's 16-team World Group.

The winner of the best-of-five tie, which will take place outdoors on grass at Mission Hills Country Club, will face either France or Russia in the semifinals Sept. 22-24.

Chile, which beat 2005 finalist Slovakia, 4-1, will counter with Fernando Gonzalez, Nicolas Massu, Adrian Garcia and Paul Capdeville.

Massu surprisingly won a pair of gold medals at the 2004 Olympics, winning the singles draw as well as the doubles event with Gonzalez. They are expected to play all five matches for the Chileans.

"It's going to be a lot tougher on them from the standpoint that those guys have to go out there and play singles on Friday, then come back and play the doubles Saturday, and then go back out there and play another match on Sunday," Goldfine said. "So, obviously, it's a bit of a challenge from them.

"But as we saw from the Olympics a couple years ago, these guys, especially Massu, is capable of superhuman feats, in terms of being able to be out on the court a ridiculous amount of time and coming back the next day and playing great tennis. I don't think that's going to affect our preparation whatsoever."

The U.S. elected to play on grass because the surface's speed plays to its players' strengths. The Americans are 3-0 against Chile, but they have not met since 1978.

"It would be great to beat the USA here," Massu said. "They chose the court, the balls, the city, everything. To win here would be a really big memory in my career, not only for me but for the team, so to win here and make the semifinals would be something big for Chile."