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Blake to lead off for U.S. Davis Cup team

  |   March 5, 2009 at 2:06 PM
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala., March 5 (UPI) -- World No. 13 James Blake was given the leadoff position for the United States for this weekend's Davis Cup first-round matches against Switzerland in Alabama.

Blake will go against 16th-ranked Stanislas Wawrinka to kickoff the best-of-five series Friday in Birmingham, Ala. The United States has opted for a hard-court surface for the matches.

The second singles match pairs sixth-ranked Andy Roddick against Switzerland's Marco Chiudinelli, who missed much of last year due to injury. Roddick is seeking his 30th career Davis Cup singles match victory.

Saturday's schedule pits the world No. 1 doubles team of Americans Bob and Mike Bryan against the Swiss duo of Wawrinka and Yves Allegro.

The matches Sunday are reverse singles with Blake playing Chiudinelli and Roddick facing Wawrinka.

The Swiss team is without world No. 2 Roger Federer, who announced last month he was skipping the Davis Cup matches because of a bad back.

The winner of the Swiss-U.S. series advances to a quarterfinal match against the winner of a Croatia-Chile match. The quarterfinals are scheduled for July 10-12.

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