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James Blake To Get Marquee Billing

Monday, April 7, 2008

Jame Blake Marquee BillingThe draw for the first U.S. Men's Clay Court Championships at River Oaks will be determined Friday, and then it will be possible for Van Barry, the club's tennis director, to set his first-round schedule.

But Barry already has locked in one match, hoping to create an early buzz at the ticket window. Presumptive top seed James Blake will be on the Tuesday, April 15, evening card, no matter whom he faces.

Blake, a two-time champion of the River Oaks International exhibition tournament, is competing with the U.S. Davis Cup team this weekend in its quarterfinal match against France at Winston-Salem, N.C. The 28-year-old American is coming off consecutive quarterfinal appearances in the season's first two Master Series tournaments at Indian Wells and Miami, which have lifted him a notch in the rankings to No. 8.

He won at River Oaks in 2003 and 2005. The latter title help spur a comeback from injury and illness that saw him climb from below 200 to as high as No. 4 at the end of 2006.

Posted by Shelia

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