Oklahoma to host first round of Davis Cup

Monday, December 17th 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) _ Oklahoma residents will get the chance to cheer on world-class tennis when the first round of the Davis Cup is played in Oklahoma City this winter.

The American team, captained by Patrick McEnroe, will meet a four-member team from the Slovak Republic Feb. 8-10

``This is an event we get goose bumps about,'' said Gary Dejardin, general manager of the Myriad Convention Center. ``The Davis Cup is all about the red, white and blue. It's about the United States.''

The Davis Cup is a best-of-five series with two singles matches Friday, Feb. 8, a doubles match Saturday, Feb. 9, and two singles matches Sunday, Feb. 10. Matches are best-of-five until a team clinches, then remaining matches are best-of-three.

The matches will start in the afternoon and continue through the evening each day.

``The Davis Cup is a team format with national flavor,'' said Jeff Ryan, the director of special events for the United Sates Tennis Association.

Ryan said Oklahoma City's enthusiasm for tennis and this event was one of the deciding factors in choosing the city as the host over Columbus, Ohio, and Naples, Fla.

He said the event will generate $2 million for the Oklahoma City economy.

American players for the Davis Cup will be chosen by McEnroe before the Feb. 7 draw for match play. They could include Pete Sampras, Andy Roddick, Todd Martin, Jan-Michael Gambill or James Blake.

This will be the first meeting of the United States and the Slovak Republic since the Slovak Republic began competing apart from the former Czechoslovakia in 1994.

The Slovak Republic, captained by 1988 Olympic gold medalist Miloslav Mecir, has reached the quarterfinals in Davis Cup play two times in the last three years.

``They will be strong opponents for the Americans,'' Ryan said.

Tickets, which range from $60 to $270, go on sale Dec. 20 at the Myriad Center Box Office.