Andy Roddick's Davis Cup Inspiration: A Ten-Year-Old's Tennis Epiphany

Andy Roddick watched the 1992 Davis Cup clash between the USA and Switzerland

by Jovica Ilic
Andy Roddick's Davis Cup Inspiration: A Ten-Year-Old's Tennis Epiphany

Andy Roddick became a Major champion at the 2003 US Open, remaining the last Major winner from the most remarkable tennis nation. Andy conquered 32 ATP titles from 52 finals, lifting at least one in 12 consecutive seasons before retiring in 2012.

Roddick fell in love with tennis 11 years before his Major success, attending the Davis Cup match as a ten-year-old. The USA ousted Switzerland 3-1 at Tarrant County Centre in Fort Worth, Texas, to regain the Davis Cup crown.

Andy was there to support the national squad, describing the match between Jim Courier and Jakob Hlasek as the one that changed his life and created an obsession with tennis. In a perfect mixture of youth and experience, the United States was the team to beat in the Davis Cup that year.

They played three ties at home and defeated Switzerland in their third straight final. In the first round, the USA toppled Argentina 5-0 and worked a bit harder in the quarter-final against Czechoslovakia in Prague. Aaron Krickstein and Petr Korda shared points on an opening day, and the Americans claimed the doubles rubber and the third singles, again thanks to Krickstein, to seal the deal and move into the last four.

They hosted Sweden in Minneapolis on an indoor clay and scored a 4-1 triumph thanks to Jim Courier and Andre Agassi, who battled in the Roland Garros semi-final that year. John McEnroe and Pete Sampras delivered the overall victory with a thrilling win over Stefan Edberg and Andres Jarryd in five sets, propelling their country into the title clash against the first-time finalist Switzerland.

The tie took place in Texas, and the home nation played safe. They chose their strongest squad that left the Europeans behind for the milestone 30th Davis Cup crown (they would claim only two in the next 30 years, though). Stepping on the court first, Andre Agassi destroyed Jakob Hlasek 6-1, 6-2, 6-2 in 88 minutes to push his country in front.

Andy Roddick watched a memorable Davis Cup match in Texas in 1992.

The second rubber offered a marathon between world no. 1 Jim Courier and Marc Rosset, and the Swiss prevailed 6-3, 6-7, 3-6, 6-4, 6-4 to level the overall score.

The clash lasted four hours and 23 minutes, and it was another failure for Jim in the competition that caused him too much pressure. The American fended off two set points in the second set to grab the upper hand before Rosset claimed sets four and five to seal the deal and keep Switzerland in contention.

Saturday's doubles rubber was equally dramatic. John McEnroe and Pete Sampras came from the verge of defeat to upend Jakob Hlasek and Marc Rosset 6-7, 6-7, 7-5, 6-1, 6-2 and move the USA 2-1 in front after four hours and 16 minutes.

Nothing could separate them in the opening three sets, and the Americans had no room for errors after set number two. They claimed the third with a late break, dominating the rest of the encounter for the pivotal point and a massive mental advantage ahead of Sunday's reversed singles.

On December 6, Jim Courier left Friday's performance behind him and toppled Jakob Hlasek 6-3, 3-6, 6-3, 6-4 to deliver the crown in front of the partisan crowd. The American lost serve once in sets three and four, controlling the pace and sealing the deal with a service winner in the tenth game before starting a massive celebration with his teammates.

Andy Roddick Davis Cup