Nice DC write up by Cronin, with some interesting stats about Andy and Blah:
On the other hand, Blake has scored just one live win on clay, over Austria's Stefan Koubek, and only one other singles win away from home in the past eight years. While he's had some spectacular moments playing at home, including during the United States' 2007 title run, Blake has been less than dependable away from the comforts of red, white and blue arenas.
"I think it's a great opportunity for James to slide into the No. 1 singles role," McEnroe said before the tie began. "He's always been the No. 2 guy on this team, with Andy playing the role of No. 1 quite well. But James has a lot of experience, and I think it's a nice change for him to be put in that position."
While that might have been the case at home, Blake did not embrace the change abroad.
Perhaps next year, if McEnroe is forced to select a team to play away on clay, he'll try his luck again with Querrey, or young lefthander Wayne Odesnik, who professes a love of dirt and has had some decent results on the surface. Whatever the case, without Roddick in the fold for every tough away tie, the U.S. is going to be a serious underdog.
After the match, Blake admitted that there was a comfort level in playing No. 2 behind Roddick, the de facto team leader with a Davis Cup singles record of 31-11.
"I got a ton of respect for Andy. I really can't see myself having any more respect for him than today," said Blake. "Being in the No. 1 spot, it shows me how hard his job has been for this many years and how outstanding he's really been as a teammate and a leader of this team because he's counted on as the No. 1 to put up two points, and he does it time after time. Davis Cup is always pressure-packed, but being in the No. 2 spot is less pressure-packed than being in that one spot."
So is it fair to assume that there will a bunch of articles written about James calling him out for his pathetic inability to handle pressure situations and perform on big stages?
Nah. Probably not.