Veteran tennis champion Pete Sampras and rising star Andy Roddick have been selected to play for the U.S. Davis Cup team in a first-round match next week against Slovakia.
U.S. captain Patrick McEnroe also named Todd Martin, Mardy Fish and James Blake to the squad Tuesday, although only four players may be on the team. McEnroe will have to decide on the final lineup by February seventh, the day before the three-day event begins at the Myriad Convention Center in Oklahoma City. The winner will play either Spain or Morocco in early April.
Sampras, winner of a record 13 Grand Slam singles titles, will be playing in his 15th Davis Cup series but his first since April 2000, when the United States beat the Czech Republic 3-2 in a second-round match. He has 14 wins and seven losses in Davis Cup singles and is 4-1 in doubles.
The 19-year-old Roddick played in two Davis Cup series last year. He won both his singles matches against India in a preliminary round in October, and won his singles match in February when the United States lost to Switzerland, 3-2, in the first round.
Sampras and Roddick are expected to play singles, with the doubles team likely coming from among the other three players, although McEnroe said nothing will be finalized until after practices next week. He said he felt it best to use more singles players as opposed to choosing a doubles team.