James Blake has pulled out of the Davis Cup match against Spain in Madrid Sept. 19-21, and team Captain Patrick McEnroe has replaced him with Sam Querrey — not the higher ranked Mardy Fish.
“James is just physically and mentally exhausted after a grueling summer,” McEnroe said. “He said he needed a break and we respect that. This is also a great opportunity for Sam, who has had a solid year, strong results on clay and has been a loyal practice partner for this team.”
McEnroe, in a USTA press release, did not address why he chose Querrey, ranked 40 in the world, over Mardy Fish, whose ranking rose to 24th after reaching the quarters. Both Querrey and Fish lost to Rafael Nadal, the leader of the Spanish Davis Cup team, in four sets.
Querrey reached the quarterfinals of Monte Carlo in the spring on red clay. McEnroe did tell Tim Curry on Sept. 4: “You know, certainly wouldn’t put clay as his (Fish’s) best surface, but, you know, hopefully for him ‑‑ I certainly thought that he was moving better overall here, so maybe having a fitness guy, sort of more full time has been good him. ”
Fish is getting married in Beverly Hills at the end of September, and Blake, whom he beat in the third round of the open, will be there, as will Roddick.