Dusseldorf, Germany – Already eliminated from championship round contention, the United States managed its first win of the week Thursday at the World Team Cup tennis event, a final clay-court French Open tune-up.
The Americans moved to 1-2 in the four-nation Red Group with a 2-1 victory over winless Japan (0-3).
Go Soeda kept Andy Roddick winless this week with a 7-5, 7-6 (7-4) victory over the American on the red clay at Rochusclub. The loss put the U.S. at 0-7 in match play this week.
Ryan Harrison picked up team USA's first point of the week with a 6-2, 7-6 (7-5) victory over Tatsuma Ito, and the Americans prevailed against the Japanese in a doubles match when a tandem of Harrison and James Blake topped a duo of Ito and Bumpei Sato 4-6, 6-0, 10-3.
In other Red Group action, a 2-0 Czech Republic and 2-0 Argentina opened their best-of-three tie when Czech slugger Tomas Berdych got past Carlos Berlocq 6-1, 6-7 (2-7), 6-3. The Red Group winner will be decided between the Czechs and 2011 World Team runner-up Argentines on Friday.
In the Blue Group on Day 5, Serbian Viktor Troicki handled German Florian Mayer 7-6 (8-6), 6-3 and Croat Ivan Dodig downed Russian Igor Kunitsyn 7-6 (7-0), 6-4. The Serbs and reigning champion Germans are 2-0 this week, while the Croats and Russians are 0-2. Either Serbia or Germany will capture the round-robin Blue Group on Friday.
The Germans won a record-breaking fifth title with victory over 2010 champion Argentina a year ago.