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Jim Courier named new U.S. Davis Cup captain; Andre Agassi approves

Courier_325 Jim Courier, winner of four Grand Slam titles earned mostly with punishing groundstrokes perfected through a punishing work ethic, was named Wednesday by the United States Tennis Assn. to replace Patrick McEnroe as captain of the Davis Cup team.

McEnroe resigned during the U.S. Open, ending a 10-year tenure, and Courier immediately let his desire for the job be known.

"I've always known, once I got a taste of playing Davis Cup, if I were given an opportunity to be the captain, I would certainly take it," Courier said Wednesday.

In a statement given to the USTA, Courier's playing contemporary and rival, Andre Agassi, said that "Jim has the experience, integrity and focus needed to bring the U.S. Davis Cup to new heights. I know firsthand that a man with Jim's credentials as a warrior and a champion will bring out the best in our players and our fans."

Andy Roddick, who skipped Davis Cup this year to concentrate on the major tournaments, tweeted shortly after the announcement, "Great choice."

Although top-20 players Sam Querrey and John Isner plus Mardy Fish and the doubles juggernaut of Bob and Mike Bryan made up the core of the 2010 team that needed to beat Colombia last month to move back into the main group of competition, Courier said Roddick has already told him he will play next year.

Courier said his fondest memory of playing Davis Cup came in Fort Worth in 1992. "That was most memorable to me, clinching in my second singles match. It was the first time I won a Davis Cup title, it was a momentous occasion. After that I knew that if I was given the chance ever to be captain that I would like to take that because it's a great honor," Courier said.

As a player, Courier helped the U.S. win Davis Cup titles in 1992 and 1995. He had a 16-10 overall record in Davis Cup.

Courier, 40, was ranked No. 1 in the world for 58 weeks. He won the French Open twice, in 1991 and 1992, and the Australian Open twice, in 1992 and 1993. He was inducted into the Tennis Hall of Fame in 2005 after retiring in 2000.

Courier will make his debut as captain next March when the U.S. plays in Chile in the first round. The U.S. has won the Davis Cup a record 32 times, but no titles have come since 2007.

-- Diane Pucin

 Photo: Jim Courier with a replica of the Davis Cup. Credit: Kathy Willens / Associated Press

 
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