Roddick, Blake, Bryans return to defend Davis Cup title vs. Austria

Updated: January 29, 2008, 2:35 PM ET
Associated Press

VIENNA, Austria -- Andy Roddick and James Blake will lead the defending champion United States against Austria in the first round of the Davis Cup.

The top-ranked doubles team of Bob and Mike Bryan were also picked for the U.S. team, the International Tennis Federation said Tuesday.

The quartet helped the U.S. win its record 32nd Davis Cup title against Russia last month.

Stefan Koubek will lead Austria, along with Jurgen Melzer, Werner Eschauer and Julian Knowle for the best-of-five series on indoor clay in Vienna on Feb. 8-10.

"The United States will bring their best players for sure, which means they show respect for our team," Austria captain Gilbert Schaller said.

Koubek, the highest-ranked Austrian on the team at No. 55, and Melzer are expected to play singles, and Melzer will likely team with Knowle in doubles. Eschauer will be a substitute.

Koubek knows his team will be the underdog when the Americans come to Vienna.

"But if our team works really well and we take every chance we get, maybe we can cause an upset," Koubek said.

Knowle has struggled with injuries lately.

"I suffered from dizziness and a chronic elbow inflammation," said Knowle, who won the doubles title at the U.S. Open last year with Simon Aspelin. "I still need treatment for that, so hopefully I will be fit by next week."

The match between the United States and Austria will be the third between the two nations in the Davis Cup. The Americans won the previous two, first on clay in Vienna in 1990 and hard courts in Connecticut in 2004.


Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press