It is incredibly loud
at Memorial Coliseum right now. I've only been to a couple of sporting events in this building, but I'm feeling like it's a pretty safe guess
to say this is the most noise a crowd has made for a sporting event here since the Trail Blazers moved across the Rose Quarter in 1995.
The 12,000-plus people in the Coliseum are here for the first day of tennis' Davis Cup fina
l round between the U.S. and Russia. It's the first time the Davis Cup finals have been held in this country since 1992, and the tennis nuts
who have flown in from all over the country are hoping to see the U.S. win its first title since 1995.
Davis Cup is fun because the crowds get a little more loose than they do at other professional tennis matches. There are rabid, flag-waving, chanting fans from both countries, and they played "Welcome to the Jungle
" during the players' warm-up today.
Here was the scene a minute ago when Andy Roddick
, former Mandy Moore boyfriend and current number 6 player in the world, walked out onto the court for the first match of the day:
Roddick is up first against Dmitry Tursonov, who is ranked 33rd in the world. It should be a good match—Roddick, by all accounts, wants to win a Davis Cup
more than just about anything, and is definitely the favorite. But Tursonov beat Roddick in a heartbreaking 5-setter in Moscow to clinch a semi-final win for Russia over the U.S. in last year's Davis Cup, and weird things
seem to happen in Davis Cup matches.
Later this afternoon is fan favorite James Blake
against #19 Mikhail Youzhny. Blake will definitely have the crowd fired up, but he seems to have all sorts of trouble winning big matches, so we'll see what happens with the pressure turned up, especially if Roddick loses (the format for Davis Cup is this: there are 5 matches total--4 singles and 1 doubles--so the first team to win 3 matches wins. The doubles is tomorrow afternoon, then Roddick and Blake alternate opponents on Sunday afternoon. Losing both of the first two singles matches is pretty devastating).
It's pretty exciting having this event in Portland. I think it's going to be a good afternoon down here, especially when I get to check out the vast amounts of snacks I saw in the press area as I was scrambling to get into the stadium. Updates to come!
Quick update: Roddick just won the first set, and the crowd went CRAZY.
Follow our live coverage of the Davis Cup here.