The U.S. evened things up when Agassi defeated basicliner Dosedel very, very fast, 6-3, 6-3, 6-3. Dosedel is ranked 40th and played like it. "Andre is saving himself for me and Davis Cup," said a jubilant McEnroe. "The hell with those other tournaments."
Though McEnroe, the 41-year-old father of six, retired from Davis Cup doubles in 1992, he has toyed with the idea of unretiring to team with Sampras or Agassi, given that the Americans' 15 post-McEnroe pairings have gone 9-13. O'Brien and Palmer played together at Stanford in '92 but didn't reunite until this year, and were untested in the Davis Cup crucible. In their humbling 7-5, 6-4, 6-4 loss to Novak and David Rikl, they got trapped in midcourt so often that they seemed to be taking a half-volley lesson. In their place McEnroe couldn't have done any worse. "We're acting like spoiled kids," he later grumbled. "You can't just expect it to happen without having to work for it, like rich kids—like my kids, actually."
On Sunday, Agassi jerked Novak along the basicline from left to right and right to left. By the second set the Czech had the ragged look of a man who had played three crucial matches in three days. Sampras, despite a strained thigh and a bruised psyche, slew Slava by serving his country at speeds of up to 129 mph. His 18 aces sealed the win and McEnroe's second victory as captain. "I never lost faith," Mac said.
As Freud might have concluded, he's a tough nut to crack.