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Old Oct 11th, 2001, 09:11 PM   #1
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Post Blake Selected for Davis Cup SIngles

I just found this on CNN. While I am happy for him, I feel bad for Todd <IMG SRC="smilies/frown.gif" border="0">

Banking on youth

U.S. will go with Roddick and Blake for Davis Cup
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Posted: Thursday October 11, 2001 2:36 PM
Updated: Thursday October 11, 2001 3:13 PM

James Blake made the U.S. Davis Cup squad after a strong summer that included two ATP semifinals. Ezra Shaw/Allsport
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (CNNSI.com) -- If the United States is to make it back into the Davis Cup World Group this weekend, the kids are going to have to do the job.

U.S. captain Patrick McEnroe on Thursday tapped 19-year-old Andy Roddick and 21-year-old James Blake as his singles players for this weekend's tie with India at Joel Coliseum.

Roddick will play Harsh Mankad and Blake will meet Leander Paes in Friday's singles matches, which begin at 2 p.m. ET. On Sunday, Roddick will face Paes and Blake will play Mankad. In Saturday's pivotal doubles match, Americans Don Johnson and Jared Palmer will take on Indian's powerful duo of Paes and Mahesh Bhupathi.

Roddick, the highest-ranked player on either team at No. 15 in the world, was a lock for one singles spot. Blake was something of a surprise, beating out longtime Davis Cup standout Todd Martin thanks to his strong play lately.

Blake, a Connecticut native ranked a career-best 86th in the world this week, has had a breakthrough year on the ATP Tour. After playing challengers much of the season, Blake reached the semifinals in Newport in July; made the round of 16 in Cincinnati before falling to Patrick Rafter; lost in a memorable five-setter to Lleyton Hewitt at the U.S. Open; and reached the semis again last week in Tokyo, where Hewitt beat him again.

Martin, No. 64 in the rankings, has struggled with injuries since a second-round loss at the U.S. Open. The veteran has 16 Davis Cup ties under his belt, with an 11-8 record in singles play. Roddick and Blake have one Davis Cup match between them, a meaningless victory by Roddick after Switzerland had already clinched a win over the U.S. earlier this year.

The U.S. must win this weekend's tie to return to the 16-team World Group which will compete for the 2002 Davis Cup title. The losing nation will be relegated to zonal competition and couldn't return to the top level of Davis Cup play until at least 2003.
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