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Fish fills out Davis Cup team

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Published March 30, 2004

KEY BISCAYNE - Patrick McEnroe went with youth. Mats Wilander opted for experience.

U.S. captain McEnroe selected Tampa's Mardy Fish on Monday to team with Andy Roddick in singles against Wilander's older Swedish team in the Davis Cup quarterfinals April9-11 at Delray Beach.

Fish, 22, was chosen from a pool of candidates that included Vince Spadea, 29, who upset Marat Safin at the Nasdaq-100 Open on Saturday and won the first tournament title of his career this month at Scottsdale, Ariz.

"I feel we're going with our two best young guys, our two best guns," McEnroe said. He said age was a factor in picking Fish for the best-of-five-set matches. "Younger legs are something you can't ignore," he said.

The Swedes will be led by Thomas Enqvist, 30, and Jonas Bjorkman, 32. Their squad also includes Joachim Johansson, Robin Soderling and Thomas Johansson. Enqvist is expected to play singles, and Bjorkman will team with Johansson in doubles against twins Bob and Mike Bryan.

Fish, 1-2 in Davis Cup singles, is ranked a career-best 17th and was chosen over Spadea, Robby Ginepri, Taylor Dent and James Blake, all ranked 35th to 39th. Fish has reached five finals since March 2003 and is 6-1 against members of the Swedish team. The Americans are seeking their first Davis Cup title since 1995.

NASDAQ-100 OPEN: Serena Williams beat 16-year-old Maria Sharapova 6-4, 6-3 to reach the quarterfinals in Key Biscayne. Playing her third match after an eight-month layoff, Williams smacked nine aces and 26 winners. Williams faces American Jill Craybas, who rallied to upset No.9 Paola Suarez 4-6, 6-4, 7-6 (7-2). No.2 Venus Williams beat No.15 Francesca Schiavone 6-1, 6-3 and faces No.5 Elena Dementieva. For the men, Andy Roddick, seeded second, beat No.26 Jonas Bjorkman 6-4, 3-6, 6-3. No.4 Andre Agassi had just five unforced errors in beating Max Mirnyi 6-2, 6-2.

CLIJSTERS STILL OUT: Kim Clijsters will have to keep her left wrist in a brace three more weeks, further sidelining the world's No.2 player, her Web site reported. The Belgian pulled out of the Indian Wells tournament two weeks ago with a torn tendon.

AD CAMPAIGN: NASCAR's Jeff Gordon and boxing champion Roy Jones Jr. will appear in a $3-million ad campaign the USTA is launching to promote participation in the sport. The ads will run in newspapers and magazines starting in late April and will tout the Web site tenniswelcomecenter.com, which promotes 3,300 facilities across the country where new players can get lessons.

GOLF: Huston just misses Masters

John Daly, who picked up his first PGA Tour victory in nine years last month at Torrey Pines, was among the final five players who qualified for the Masters by finishing in the top 10 on the money list or top 50 in the world ranking. Craig Parry, Todd Hamilton, Trevor Immelman and Brian Davis qualified for the Masters by finishing in the top 50 in the world ranking. Davis was the only player close to falling out of the top 50, especially after he missed the cut at the Players Championship. He slipped three spots to No.50. Clearwater's John Huston, who won the Southern Farm Bureau Classic last year, finished No.51 in the ranking. Huston needed to finish 14th in the Players Championship to get into the top 50, but tied for 26th.

TAVISTOCK CUP: Sergio Garcia and Retief Goosen combined to shoot 10-under 62 in Orlando to help Lake Nona split four matches against a team of tour pros from Isleworth. Garcia and Goosen birdied three of the last five holes for a five-shot win over Scott Hoch and Lee Janzen in the better-ball match. Lake Nona captain Ernie Els and Sven Struver defeated Isleworth captain Mark O'Meara and Darren Clarke by three. Isleworth's Stuart Appleby and Robert Allenby beat Ian Poulter and Justin Rose 67-69, and Charles Howell and John Cook topped Lake Nona's Nick Faldo and Trevor Immelman 66-67.

OLYMPICS: Thorpe rebounds to qualify for 200

Ian Thorpe will compete in the 200-meter freestyle at the Athens Games after winning the event at the Australian swimming trials. Thorpe won the Australian title in the event a seventh time, finishing in 1 minute, 45.07 seconds, just off his world-record 1:44.06. Thorpe, world-record holder and Olympic champion in the 400, was disqualified from the 400 freestyle Saturday for falling off the starting blocks before his heat.

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