Join Date: Jul 2002
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Injured Roddick not part of U.S. Davis Cup team
January 28, 2003
WHITE PLAINS, New York (Ticker) - Australian Open semifinalist Andy Roddick will not lead the United States against Croatia in the first round of the Davis Cup, captain Patrick McEnroe announced on Tuesday.
With Roddick sidelined with severe tendinitis in his forearm, McEnroe named James Blake, Mardy Fish, Robby Ginepri and Taylor Dent to the team he will bring to Zagreb for the February 7-9 competition.
Blake and Fish will compete in singles, with doubles not yet decided, according to McEnroe. Brian Baker and Jeff Salzenstein will be brought along as practice partners.
The Croatian team will be represented by 2001 Wimbledon champion Goran Ivanisevic, Mario Ancic, Ivan Ljubicic and Lovro Zovko. Ivanisevic, who underwent shoulder surgery last May and has only played once since, will play only doubles.
"We've got a tough match on our hands no matter what - if Goran plays or not. It certainly didn't look like he was 100 percent healthy, from what I saw," McEnroe said.
Roddick was coming off his best showing at a Grand Slam last week at the Australian Open. He outlasted Younes El Aynaoui in an epic quarterfinal that lasted a minute shy of five hours and featured the longest fifth set in Grand Slam history.
However, the 20-year-old, who lost to Rainer Schuettler in his first career major semifinal, aggravated a recurring arm ailment, partially caused by playing so many matches in Melbourne and aggravated the injury following a fall in his quarterfinal matchup.
Roddick underwent an MRI in Los Angeles this week and was advised not to play for several weeks.
"He's very disappointed, but it's something he needs to take care of now, or it could be an ongoing problem for a long time," McEnroe said. "He's part of American tennis for now and the future. He just wasn't going to be able to be ready to play next weekend."
With the sixth-ranked player in the world out and Australian Open champion Andre Agassi not making himself available for Davis Cup, Blake will anchor the team. He also is coming off his best career Grand Slam appearance, having lost to Schuettler in the quarterfinals.
This is the second time Blake will represent his country this year. He teamed with women's world No. 1 Serena Williams to lead the United States to a Hopman Cup crown in early January.
The 23-year-old Blake, a member of the Americans' 2002 Davis Cup team, which lost to France in the semifinals, is 4-1 lifetime in singles matches at the international team event.
Fish and Blake formed a winning doubles team against Slovakia last February in the first round. That is the only Davis Cup experience for the 21-year-old Fish. Dent, 21, and Ginepri, 20, have never played a match in the competition.
"A changing of the guard with our Davis Cup team is complete," McEnroe said. "This is an opportunity for our guys to step up, and it will make us a better team down the road. When Andy comes back, we will be stronger."
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