PORTLAND, Ore. The United States won its first Davis Cup title since 1995 behind a convincing doubles victory Saturday by brothers Bob and Mike Bryan.
The Bryans cruised to a 7-6 (4), 6-4, 6-2 victory over Russia's Nikolay Davydenko and Igor Andreev on the indoor hard court at Portland's Memorial Coliseum as the U.S. won the first three matches in the best-of-five final.
The once-dominant United States had not won the Davis Cup in 12 years, the longest span without an American victory. Pete Sampras last led the team to victory over Russia on clay in Moscow.
The United States now has 32 titles in the international team competition, dating to 1900.
Andy Roddick and James Blake got the U.S. off to a fast start Friday, winning the first two singles matches. The U.S. had not taken the first three matches of a Davis Cup final since 1990 against Australia.
With Roddick and Blake looking on, both doubles teams held serve through the first set, forcing the tiebreaker. When the United States took a 5-3 lead, Andreev slammed his racket to the court.
Andreev double-faulted on the twins' second set point, and the top-ranked duo celebrated with their familiar chest bump.
Andreev and Davydenko had only been partnered once before as a doubles team in Davis Cup play and often conferred over strategy. Davydenko, who came to the Davis Cup mired in an investigation into unusual betting patterns during a match in August, had played a doubles match only twice before this year.
When Bob Bryan's winning forehand at the net bounced over the heads of the Russians, Roddick and Blake poured onto the court and piled into a group embrace. The crowd chanted "U-S-A! U-S-A!'
The four players then ran a victory lap around the court with an American flag.
"No words can explain how we feel right now, except Woooooooo!" Mike Bryan exclaimed.
On Friday, sixth-ranked Roddick beat Dmitry Tursunov 6-4, 6-4, 6-2 in the opening match and 13th-ranked Blake outlasted Mikhail Youzhny 6-3, 7-6 (4), 6-7 (3), 7-6 (3).The best-of-five final was a culmination of a year's worth of international competition. Today's reverse singles will be shortened to best-of-three sets because the U.S. has already clinched the title.
VONN WINS DOWNHILL: Lindsey Vonn of the United States won a World Cup downhill Saturday in Lake Louise, Alberta, withstanding temperatures that plunged to 18 below zero.
Vonn, formerly Lindsey Kildow, was followed by Austria's Renate Goetschl and Canada's Britt Janyk in a race on the men's Olympic downhill course.This was the fourth career downhill victory at Lake Louise for Vonn, who was timed in 1 minute, 48.69 seconds. She married U.S. skier Thomas Vonn in September.
LICKLITER LEADS Q-SCHOOL: Frank Lickliter II shot an even-par 72 on Saturday at Orange County National to take a three-stroke lead after the fourth of six rounds in the PGA Tour National Qualifying Tournament.The top 25 finishers and ties will earn 2008 PGA Tour cards, while the next number of players nearest 50 will get full Nationwide Tour exemptions. The remaining players in the 166-man field will receive conditional Nationwide Tour status.
BECKHAM LEADS GALAXY: Even David Beckham was impressed with this virtuoso display.
He set up three goals, scored on a penalty kick and played all 90 minutes, leading Los Angeles to a 4-1 victory over the Wellington Phoenix on Saturday in the Galaxy's exhibition tour finale in Wellington, New Zealand.
"I was surprised because I am not a penalty taker, but Landon (Donovon) told me to have it and I was happy to," he said. "I saw the ball pretty well so I had every chance to score, and so this tour's ended up well for us."