February 28th, 2009 11:21 EST
Blake and Roddick Head U.S.`s Davis Cup Team in Timely Match-Up
For its opening match-up facing the Swiss, the U.S. Davis Cup Team will stick with its original roster.
Patrick McEnroe, captain of the U.S., said that James Blake, Andy Roddick, and the Bob and Mike Bryan will remain the team`s official lineup when they face Switzerland in Birmingham, Alabama on March 6th-8th. Blake and Roddick are set to compete in men`s singles matches while the Bryan twins will play the men`s doubles match. This lineup has made up the U.S. Davis Cup team for the last 11 of 12 Davis Cup tournaments.
James Blake is currently the 11th ranked men`s singles player in the world. Andy Roddick won the U.S. Open in 2003 and was ranked the #1 men`s singles player in the world the same year; this year, he`s the highest ranked American on the tour at 6th. The Bryan twins have been perennial men`s doubles champions since they turned professional in 1998.
The match against the Swiss altered drastically when #2 ranked men`s singles player in the world, Roger Federer, dropped out of the contest due to back spasms. This comes after he stated he would play in the Davis Cup tour for the 1st time since 2004.
The Swiss are fielding Stanislas Wawrinks, Stephane Bohli, Marco Chudinelli, and Yves Allegro. Wawrinks is the only Swiss player ranked in the top 100 men`s players on the ATP tour. He`s ranked 17th in the world.
With Federer out, the U.S. team is highly favored to win.
Patrick McEnroe commented to reporters about the potential momentum shift towards the U.S. during a conference call.
"With Roger pulling out, that obviously changes the dynamic a little bit of the tie. Certainly if Roger was playing, it would have been pretty even. I think this certainly makes us a pretty solid favorite. We`re not overlooking the team that Switzerland brings in."
The winner would move on to face Chile or Croatia in the quarterfinals on July 10th-12th.
Last year, the U.S. came up short of defending their 2007 title by falling to Spain in the semifinals.
"The goal is to try to get into the later rounds and win the Cup again," the team`s captain said. "We have the capability of that."