Games set as matches are announced for Davis Cup

Trey Scott

Mardy Fish will be the No. 1 singles player for the U.S. in this weekend’s Davis Cup, team captain Jim Courier announced during Friday’s draw.

Fish, the No. 8 player in the world, will face off against Spain’s Feliciano Lopez in Friday’s ‘A’ match.

“Mardy coming out of the blocks is good for us,” Courier said. “We’ll look forward to that.”

Austinite Andy Roddick will be the country’s No. 2 player. Some felt that Roddick could be given the top-seed because he serves as the ambassador between the host city of Austin and the Davis Cup, but Courier said that never influenced his decision.

“Andy obviously will be backing him up,” he said. “There’s no real drama for us. Sorry not to give you a headline, but it kind of is what it is.”

The Fish-Lopez match will be important for both countries, as that first point (in first-to-three format) can be vital.

“It obviously sets the tone,” Fish said. “We’ve got a pretty good guy [Roddick] coming behind me, as well. So, you know, I won’t feel any extra pressure. We’re looking to get to three, and that’s the goal.”

Roddick will take on David Ferrer, the world’s No. 6 player. On the season, the Spaniard has a 34-10 record and holds the head-to-head advantage over Roddick, 4-3.

Ferrer’s greatest asset is his elite return game — the Spanish Andre Agassi — and that should help him against Roddick’s killer serve.

But A-Rod will have home-court advantage — one that goes much farther than just partial fans. The indoor court in the Frank Erwin Center plays incredibly quick, an advantage that has been met with disapproval by the Spaniards.

“The mandate is not for us to find a court that suits everyone, it’s to find a court that suits ourselves within the rules, which is what we’ve done,” Courier said. “So we’re very happy with the court.”

The singles matches will flip on Sunday, with Roddick playing Lopez — a rematch of the third round of this year’s Wimbledon, which resulted in a win for Lopez. Fish will battle Ferrer.

The USA doubles twins, Bob and Mike Bryan, who are a week removed from victory on the Wimbledon grass, face off against Lopez and Fernando Verdasco on Saturday.

“It’s indoors. It’s a hard court. It’s different balls,” Bob Bryan said. “But we still have a smile on our face from the Wimbledon title.”