The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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US bank on Roddick

New York: Newly-crowned US Open champion Andy Roddick, the world No. 2, will spearhead the US challenge in their Davis Cup World Group relegation round tie against Slovakia in Bratislava next week.

Non-playing captain Patrick McEnroe named Roddick, winner of six events this season, to play the singles along with James Blake.

Twins Bob and Mike Bryan, the French Open champions and joint world No. 1 in doubles, round off the team for the claycourt tie from September 19-21.

A semi-finalist at Wimbledon, Roddick won summer hardcourt tournaments in Indianapolis, Montreal, Cincinnati before capping off his fine run with a maiden Grand Slam title at the US Open. The 21-year-old owns a 7-2 career singles mark in Davis Cup play.

Blake, 23, has an 8-3 record in Davis Cup, including a 3-1 mark in doubles.

The 35th-ranked player won his first ATP singles title last year in Washington and reached the fourth round of the Australian Open earlier this season for his best performance at a Grand Slam.

Slovakia captain Miloslav Mecir named a team which included 30th-ranked Karol Kucera, Dominik Hrbaty (No. 55), Karol Beck (No. 71) and Michal Mertinak (No. 194).

The United States lost February’s World Group first-round tie in Croatia and must beat Slovakia to stay in the elite World Group which they have never dropped out of. The US beat Slovakia 5-0 in their last meeting in the first round a year ago.

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